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Racial Socialization as Political Socialization? The Effect of Racial Socialization on African American Perceptions of Race and Trust in Government

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Abstract:

Current research on trust suggests that African Americans are the least trusting of others in general (social trust) and of political institutions (political trust) than any other racial group. Generally, it is assumed that this racial group’s historical experience with discrimination in the United States explains lower levels of trust. However, scant research has been done to test empirically this political phenomenon. This paper proposes a return to the study of political socialization in order to explain this phenomenon. The paper argues that lower levels of political trust are explained by African Americans’ racial socialization experiences, which determine perceptions of trust in race-specific others (racial trust) and eventual perceptions of racial actors within the context of political institutions (parties and local and national governments). As a consequence, racial socialization is a source of political socialization. Although survey data are limited that contain measures for these types of socializations within one dataset, the paper proposes the development of such a survey. The paper also argues that racial trust and political trust are learned as an outgrowth of these socializations. Thus, data analysis on political trust is generated from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey in order to test the covariation between racial and political trusts. Preliminary results from the Benchmark Survey suggest that racial trust has a minimal effect on political trust and that race affects trust in other ways that may be indicative of how people think about relating to others with different racial backgrounds. There is support, however, for the impact that discrimination experiences have on trust in government. The evidence from the survey may point to the complex way race operates in political trust. Hence, further research on racial socialization, political socialization, and political trust may uncover how racial and political perspectives are learned via socialization experiences that are transmitted generationally and that are externalized via political behavior.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

racial (255), trust (255), polit (255), american (212), social (190), black (174), african (166), group (152), govern (106), race (92), parti (68), less (67), white (67), repres (63), c (59), represent (56), interest (54), nation (52), local (52), nunnal (51), shayla (49),

Author's Keywords:

political socialization, racial socialization, political trust, racial trust
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Name: American Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Nunnally, Shayla. "Racial Socialization as Political Socialization? The Effect of Racial Socialization on African American Perceptions of Race and Trust in Government" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 27, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p62779_index.html>

APA Citation:

Nunnally, S. , 2003-08-27 "Racial Socialization as Political Socialization? The Effect of Racial Socialization on African American Perceptions of Race and Trust in Government" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia, PA Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p62779_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Current research on trust suggests that African Americans are the least trusting of others in general (social trust) and of political institutions (political trust) than any other racial group. Generally, it is assumed that this racial group’s historical experience with discrimination in the United States explains lower levels of trust. However, scant research has been done to test empirically this political phenomenon. This paper proposes a return to the study of political socialization in order to explain this phenomenon. The paper argues that lower levels of political trust are explained by African Americans’ racial socialization experiences, which determine perceptions of trust in race-specific others (racial trust) and eventual perceptions of racial actors within the context of political institutions (parties and local and national governments). As a consequence, racial socialization is a source of political socialization. Although survey data are limited that contain measures for these types of socializations within one dataset, the paper proposes the development of such a survey. The paper also argues that racial trust and political trust are learned as an outgrowth of these socializations. Thus, data analysis on political trust is generated from the 2000 Social Capital Benchmark Survey in order to test the covariation between racial and political trusts. Preliminary results from the Benchmark Survey suggest that racial trust has a minimal effect on political trust and that race affects trust in other ways that may be indicative of how people think about relating to others with different racial backgrounds. There is support, however, for the impact that discrimination experiences have on trust in government. The evidence from the survey may point to the complex way race operates in political trust. Hence, further research on racial socialization, political socialization, and political trust may uncover how racial and political perspectives are learned via socialization experiences that are transmitted generationally and that are externalized via political behavior.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 50
Word count: 16423
Text sample:
Racial Socialization as Political Socialization? The Effect of Racial Socialization on African Americans’ Perceptions of Trust in Government Shayla C. Nunnally The Department of Political Science Duke University Box 90204 Durham NC 27708 USA scn4@duke.edu Abstract: Current research on trust suggests that African Americans are the least trusting of others in general (social trust) and of political institutions (political trust) than any other racial group. Generally it is assumed that this racial group’s historical experience with discrimination in the
9 Refused Shayla C. Nunnally Page 49 Racial Networks Scale (Components of Scale) BWHT 55F. Has personal friend who is white 0 No 1 Yes BHISP 55G. Has personal friend who is Latino or Hispanic 0 No 1 Yes BASN 55H. Has personal friend who is Asian 0 No 1 Yes Scale: 0= no interracial relationships 1=one interracial relationship 2=two interracial relationships 3=three interracial relationships


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