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      “Race Coding” and White Opposition to Welfare

      American Political Science Review

      JSTOR

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          Abstract

          Crime and welfare are now widely viewed as “coded” issues that activate white Americans' negative views of blacks without explicitly raising the “race card.” But does the desire of whites to combat crime or curtail welfare really stem from their dislike of blacks? Are these not pressing problems about which Americans rightly should be concerned—apart from any associations these issues may have with race? In this paper I assess the extent to which white Americans' opposition to welfare is rooted in their attitudes toward blacks. Using conventional survey modeling techniques and a randomized survey-based experiment from a national telephone survey, I find that racial attitudes are the single most important influence on whites' welfare views. I also show that whites hold similar views of comparably described black and white welfare mothers, but that negative views of black welfare mothers are more politically potent, generating greater opposition to welfare than comparable views of white welfare mothers.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Statistical tests for moderator variables: Flaws in analyses recently proposed.

           Lee Cronbach (1987)
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            Whites' opposition to busing: Symbolic racism or realistic group conflict?

             Lawrence Bobo (1983)
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              Opposition to Race-Targeting: Self-Interest, Stratification Ideology, or Racial Attitudes?

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                applab
                American Political Science Review
                Am Polit Sci Rev
                JSTOR
                0003-0554
                1537-5943
                September 1996
                August 2014
                : 90
                : 03
                : 593-604
                Article
                10.2307/2082611
                © 1996

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