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The Continuing Significance of Race in American Politics: Racial Resentment and the Pain of Progress

Research suggests the effects of racial bias now surpass the typical partisan and ideological predispositions that drive political decision making and judgments. This phenomenon is highlighted by public opinion data collected over the past 10 years covering Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy and subsequent administrations. These data suggest that Obama’s ascendancy created a space for political discourse about the relevance of, and resentment toward, race in nearly every aspect of American politics. As a result, explicit and implicit racial information cues promote ideas and emotions that make racialization both easy and effective. Summarily, Obama’s historic accomplishment leaves scholars, and the public alike, with questions about the permanency of racial thinking (and racism) in America. I will share public opinion data, including several experiments, that evidence racial resentment and the pain of racial progress.

David Wilson, Ph.D., Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, University of Delaware

David Wilson teaches courses in political psychology; statistics, data analysis, research methodology; and public opinion and polling analysis. Professor Wilson's research examines the effects of social information on public opinion and political behavior using survey experiments. He specializes in survey measurement, political communication, and public opinion on racial attitudes, and is currently examining opinions on voter ID laws.

Cosponsored by the University of Utah Political Science Department

 Hinckley Caucus Room (Bldg 73, Rm 110)