Friday, February 3, 2012
From UC San Diego:
How to Study Public Opinion in a Diverse Polity: Political Attitudes on Immigration in the U.S.
Jane Junn is Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California.
Tuesday, February 7 at 12:30 pm
Eleanor Roosevelt College Administration Building
Conference Room 115, First Floor
The study of the contours and antecedents of U.S. public opinion on immigration has been characterized by several strategies: 1) analyzing differences between whites and African Americans only; 2) controlling for race when estimating inferential models by using dummy variables; 3) utilizing models of white opinion to explain attitudes among minority Americans; and 4) analyzing one racial or ethnic group in isolation. Professor Junn argues that these approaches are insufficient to both the descriptive and inferential task facing analysts of public opinion in a diverse American polity. Instead, she advocates a comparative relational approach that considers the opinions of all Americans, and generates hypotheses based on the interactive and historically-grounded experiences of racial groups in the United States. With this approach, she develops a theory of the political context of racial structural positionality and articulate how this context and the development of racialization structures agency and constraint for Americans classified by race.