ONGOING RESEARCH

Black–White Relations in the Wake of Hispanic Population Growth (dissertation)

For the first time in US history, three ethnoracial groups—Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics—each make up more than 10% of the total population. This represents a major departure from the binary, black–white system of race relations that historically characterized the United States. My dissertation examines how Hispanic growth—real and perceived—affects relations between Blacks and Whites. Previous research on intergroup relations is focused primarily on the case of two groups—Blacks and Whites, in- and out-group members, blue- and brown-eyed children—and provides few insights into whether or how the growth of a third group affects relations between two other groups. Drawing on Simmel's work on dyads and triads, this project attempts to move the theory and research of intergroup relations beyond the two-group paradigm by examining the impact of Hispanic growth on relations between Blacks and Whites in the United States. 

Chapter 1 reviews the social psychological and sociological literature on intergroup relations, with special attention to the role of group size and growth. I explain why research on diversity and its consequences falls short on its promise to shed light on multi-group relations. Chapter 2 is based on an original laboratory experiment that incorporates behavioral game and survey components; a version of this chapter appeared in ASR (vol. 80, no. 4). Results suggest that Whites react to perceived Hispanic growth by prioritizing their racial identity and Blacks react to perceived Hispanic growth by prioritizing their national identity; patterns of identification mirror contributions in a dictator game. Chapter 3 draws on data from the 2012 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES) to show how the predictions of the lab experiment play out in non-Hispanic Whites’ racial and racial policy attitudes and with respect to local levels of Hispanic growth. Chapter 4 uses a national survey experiment (carried out with the help of Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences) along with CCES data to explore whether educational attainment conditions the effect of Hispanic growth. Results reveal a non-monotonic relationship between education and reactions to growth. Chapter 5 highlights implications for theories of intergroup relations, raises questions for future research, and speculates about the future of the US racial order.

The Geography of US Patriotism (with M. Centeno)

Although service to the nation-state features in academic and lay understandings of patriotism, patriotic behaviors have received limited empirical attention. The present study develops and deploys measures of four such behaviors—military enlistment, voting, monetary contributions, and census-taking—to evaluate the claim that certain parts of the United States contribute more than others to the country overall. Consistent with the words of Republican electoral candidates, ruralness, religiosity, and conservatism collectively identify a distinctive set of communities where residents are also more likely to report "American" as their ancestry. However, visual and statistical evidence undermine the claim that these communities contribute more than their fair share: their residents are no more likely to behave in ways that benefit the nation-state, and, in the case of military enlistment, they are less so. The findings suggest that patriotism is a multidimensional phenomenon that cannot be accurately captured by either sentiments or behaviors.

Sources of the Criminal Immigrant Stereotype (with J. Simes)