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Measuring Anti-Latino Attitudes

Fri, August 31, 10:00 to 11:30am, Hynes, 209

Abstract

Social scientists have developed a rich set of theories and measures to account for whites’ racial attitudes in the U.S. The majority of these measures, however, were developed to explain whites’ attitudes toward blacks. As the country has become more diverse and the Latino population has grown exponentially, researchers have begun to turn their attention to understanding whites’ negative attitudes toward Latinos. Most work, however, relies on basic affective measures (e.g. feeling thermometers), or adapts existing measures that were designed to capture whites’ attitudes toward blacks (e.g. racial resentment), without validation. Here, our goals are twofold. First, we assess the extent to which adapting existing measures of anti-black attitudes, like the racial stereotype and racial resentment measure, provides a valid and reliable way to measure both blacks’ and whites’ attitudes toward Latinos. Second, we present and validate a new measure of anti-Latino attitudes—one that better captures both blacks’ and whites’ particular sentiments toward this group. Our analysis, therefore, shows the utility of using existing measures, which have appeared on many national and publicly available public opinion surveys, and presents an improved measure that can be employed in future studies.

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