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In Whom Do We Trust? Racial Trust in the Early Years of Barack Obama’s Presidency

In Whom Do We Trust? Racial Trust in the Early Years of Barack Obama’s Presidency For many African Americans, Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008 was a step toward a racially tolerant society. Yet for others, the attack on Obama’s religious faith and citizenship status reflected long-standing racial divisions within the electorate. Using ordered probit analyses, our study focuses on racial trust and social capital in the early years of Obama’s presidency. In assessing the relationship between Obama’s domestic policies and racial trust, our study closely aligns with the research on policy feedbacks. We investigate the possibility that Obama’s flagship economic and social policies—specifically the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and unemployment insurance—operated as a bridge between whites, blacks, and Latinos. We further consider whether higher support for these policies reproduced greater levels of interracial trust among the groups. To measure racial trust, we draw from a 2010 survey sponsored by the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas. The Blair-Rockefeller Poll was administered shortly after the 2010 midterm elections and includes a sample size of 3,406 respondents with an oversample of blacks (825) and Latinos (932). Although we found noticeably high rates of racial distrust, blacks expressed the lowest levels of distrust compared to whites and Latinos. We also discovered varying effects of Obama’s policies on increasing racial trust. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sociology of Race and Ethnicity SAGE

In Whom Do We Trust? Racial Trust in the Early Years of Barack Obama’s Presidency

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© American Sociological Association 2016
ISSN
2332-6492
eISSN
2332-6506
DOI
10.1177/2332649216674026
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For many African Americans, Barack Obama’s presidential victory in 2008 was a step toward a racially tolerant society. Yet for others, the attack on Obama’s religious faith and citizenship status reflected long-standing racial divisions within the electorate. Using ordered probit analyses, our study focuses on racial trust and social capital in the early years of Obama’s presidency. In assessing the relationship between Obama’s domestic policies and racial trust, our study closely aligns with the research on policy feedbacks. We investigate the possibility that Obama’s flagship economic and social policies—specifically the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and unemployment insurance—operated as a bridge between whites, blacks, and Latinos. We further consider whether higher support for these policies reproduced greater levels of interracial trust among the groups. To measure racial trust, we draw from a 2010 survey sponsored by the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society at the University of Arkansas. The Blair-Rockefeller Poll was administered shortly after the 2010 midterm elections and includes a sample size of 3,406 respondents with an oversample of blacks (825) and Latinos (932). Although we found noticeably high rates of racial distrust, blacks expressed the lowest levels of distrust compared to whites and Latinos. We also discovered varying effects of Obama’s policies on increasing racial trust.

Journal

Sociology of Race and EthnicitySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2017

Keywords: social capital; African Americans; racial trust; Barack Obama; policy feedback; post-racial

References