CV/New Projects

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Below is a selection of research papers that I’m currently working on…

The Politics in White Identity: Testing a Racialized Partisan Hypothesis” (with Enya Kuo, Joey Russel, William Scott-Curtis, Jennifer Muñoz, and Megan Tobias)

Note: this project draws on an undergraduate team proposal from Political Science 179: Experiments in Racial and Ethnic Politics

With non-Hispanic Whites in proportional decline in America, researchers are widely documenting racial identity’s effects on this group. But what politicizes White identity? We consider here one mechanism: the racialized partisan hypothesis. Although Whites prevail within each party, the variance around this central tendency varies sharply between them: Republicans are tightly organized around Whites, yet Democrats are structured around Whites who share membership with people of color. This configuration puts White Democrats in a precarious position, as they jockey to bolster their intraparty prominence. We support this claim with survey and experimental evidence. First, we show that White identity is more strongly associated with opposition to minority-centered policies among White Democrats than White Republicans (n=1,295). Second, we demonstrate, experimentally, that racial identity mediates economic threat’s impact on opposition to minority-centered policies among White Democrats (n=400), but not White Republicans (n=400). We discuss our results’ implications for intergroup politics.

“Category and Content in Ethnic Identities: Three Experiments on the Distinctiveness of Latinx ID” (with Bianca Vicuña)

How easily do ethnic identities form? Some work implies that simply assigning people to categories promotes group identification, even when this happens arbitrarily. But other research suggests that the most politically meaningful identities are steeped in norms about how members should behave. We report three experiments on Latinx: a new ethnic category that reputedly encourages progressive views about non-binary genders. Latino adults were assigned to report attributes making them a unique individual (control) versus Latinx, Latino, or Hispanic. We appraise these experiments individually and meta-analytically, finding that, on average, Latinx identity yields a modest increase in support for gender-inclusive policies. Further analyses suggest this pattern is moderated by age and ideology, with younger and less liberal participants being more strongly influenced by Latinx. This suggests that new ethnic identities rely on distinct norms to galvanize individuals already predisposed to a category’s prescriptions, while drawing in people who typically balk at these guidelines.

“Defending our Space: Racial Group Position and Minority Responses to Outgroup Growth” (with Enya Kuo)

Prior work suggests that reports about Latino demographic growth cause Black and Asian Americans to express more exclusionary attitudes toward Latinos (Craig & Richeson, 2018). This project isolates one possible mechanism driving minorities’ reactions to outgroup growth—a sense of threat rooted in one’s position in America’s racial order. Racial groups in America are positioned along two dimensions: superiority and foreignness. For instance, Blacks  are perceived as low-status but relatively American, while Asians are stereotyped as relatively high-status but foreign (Zou & Cheryan, 2017). In Study 1, Black adults (N=409) who read about Latino growth redefining U.S. culture (vs. control) perceived Americans as a more foreign-infused category, which led them to express more exclusionary attitudes toward Latinos and immigration. In Study 2, Asian American adults (N=405) who read about Latino growth redefining the meaning of being an immigrant (vs. control) perceived immigrants as a more inferior category, which led them to express more opposition to Latinos and immigration. These results suggest that Black and Asian reactions to Latino growth are mediated by perceptions that Latinos are challenging each group’s advantaged position along each dimension—that Blacks are native-born and Asians are high-status.