CV & New Projects

You can download a copy of my CV by clicking on the black button below.

Here is a brief selection of research papers that I’m currently working on. About one third of the scholarship I produce through the REPS Lab consists of active collaborations with talented undergraduate students at UCLA, many of them in political science, psychology, or other analog disciplines. The papers below include some of these more recent collaborations.

Prejudiced When Climbing Up or When Falling Down? Why (Some) People of Color Express Anti-Black Racism (with Bianca Vicuña and Crystal Robertson)

What motivates people of color to be anti-Black? We argue that some minorities express racism to cope with their own marginalization within America’s racial hierarchy. Prior work suggests opportunities to join a higher status group lead stigmatized individuals to denigrate others to “prove their worth.” Yet other research implies this process is triggered by losing social status because losses are more painful than gains. We evaluate these hypotheses by studying Latino racism toward Blacks. Studies 1-2 show that stronger American identity among Latinos is associated with anti-Black racism, which then correlates with less support for Black-centered policies. Studies 3-4 induce Latinos to feel more American, which marginally increases anti-Black prejudice and decreases support for pro-Black policies. Study 5 encourages Latinos to feel less American, which powerfully heightens anti-Black racism and then boosts opposition to Black-centered policies. These patterns are concentrated among liberal Latinos, revealing how intraminority solidarity can be undermined. 

Bridging the Gaps Between Us: Explaining When and Why People of Color Express Unified Political Views (with Bianca Vicuña, Alisson Ramos, Kevin Phan, Mariella Solano, and Eric Tillett)

Based on an undergraduate team proposal from my 2021 course, Experiments in U.S. Racial and Ethnic Politics.

People of color (PoC) will soon become a demographic majority in the U.S., but this overlooks major differences in how various PoC are treated by American society and the political priorities they hold. We build a theory that explains when and why some PoC express more unified political views. Despite variation in their social positions, people of color share common sources of marginalization. For example, although Asian Americans are stereotyped as a model minority and Latinos as low-status, both are deemed perpetual foreigners. We claim that shared marginalization sparks solidarity between PoC, which strengthens their support for policies that do not implicate their ingroup, thus forging interminority unity. Using survey data, Study 1 (N=2,400) shows that Asian adults report weaker solidarity with PoC than do Latinos, plus less support for policies that accommodate unauthorized immigrants, which implicate Latinos. Studies 2 and 3 randomly assign Asian (N=641) and Latino (N=624) adults to read about a racial outgroup marginalized as foreign (vs. control article). This heightens solidarity with PoC, which then boosts Asian support for flexible policies toward undocumented immigrants (which implicate Latinos) and Latino support for generous policies toward high-skill immigrants (which implicate Asians). We discuss how our results clarify the opportunities and limits of political unity among PoC.

Overcoming Barriers to Collective Action: Person of Color Identity, Self-Perceived Prototypicality, and Environmental Activism (with Jason Chin, Gustavo Mártir, and Yuen Huo)

Black, Latinx, and Asian American people face common threats as members of marginalized ethno-racial groups, yet it is not clear what would drive this expansive range of diverse peoples to unify and work as one. Relative to White Americans, people of color bear a disproportionate burden of environmental pollution. We suggest that when faced with a common threat (environmental injustice), making salient a person of color identity (PoC ID), a superordinate category that encompasses non-White groups, may motivate Black, Latinx, and Asian Americans to engage in collective action. In a study with national samples of Black, Latinx, and Asian Americans (N=1,866), we found that higher levels of PoC ID predicted favorable attitudes and behavioral intentions to confront environmental injustices, which were mediated by reported anger and efficacy as people of color. Although PoC ID consistently explained Black Americans’ attitudes and behavioral intentions, its influence among Latinx and Asian Americans was moderated by self-perceived prototypicality as PoC. We discuss how these results help to further advance psychologists’ understanding of coalition-building among marginalized groups.

How Wide is the Arc of Racial Solidarity? Middle Eastern Individuals and U.S. People of Color (with Kaumron Eidgahy, UCLA Alumnus)

Based, in part, on Mr. Eidgahy’s award-wining undergraduate honors thesis, which I directed during 2020-2021.

Emerging work suggests that Blacks, Asians, and Latinos sometimes share a strong sense of solidarity as people of color (PoC), which unifies their political opinions on issues that strongly implicate some of these racial groups (e.g., Black Lives Matter). Yet much uncertainty remains about whether other non-White groups, beyond these traditional three, are compelled to engage in politics as PoC via this same mechanism. We invistigate this with two studies focused on Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) individuals: a minoritized group with deep U.S. roots, but sparse theoretical and empirical attention in political science. Study 1 draws on in-depth interviews with MENA adults (N=20), who suggest that, insofar as they sense solidarity with other people of color, it is because they feel racially marginalized as foreigners. Study 2 builds on this insight with a pre-registered experiment on MENA adults (N=514), which randomly assigned them to read an article about Latinos, who are also marginalized as foreign (vs. control article). We find that exposure to treatment reliably heightens MENAs’ expression of solidarity with other PoC, which then significantly boosts support for flexible policies toward undocumented immigrants (which implicate Latinos, but not MENAs) and reduces belief in negative stereotypes of Latinos.

The Surprising Stability of Asian Americans’ and Latinos’ Partisan Identities in the Early Trump Era (with Daniel J. Hopkins and Cheryl R. Kaiser)

Two prominent, compatible accounts contend that Asian Americans and Latinos are not strongly connected to America’s political parties and that their partisanship is responsive to identity threats. Donald Trump’s political ascent presents a critical test, as Trump reoriented the Republican Party by foregrounding anti-immigrant hostility. Here, we test these perspectives using one of the rst-ever population-based panels of Asian Americans and Latinos elded 2016 to 2018. Across various empirical tests, we uncover surprising strength and stability in respondents’ partisan identities. In a period of pronounced anti-immigrant rhetoric, these groups remained steadfast in their party aliation. We also show that pan-ethnic identities were stable over this period, that partisanship can shape subsequent pan-ethnic identities, and that few respondents describe the parties with reference to ethnic/racial groups in either year. By 2016, pan-ethnic identities were already stably integrated with partisanship, with little evidence of situational shifts in response to identity threats.