Progressive familial socialization and white partisans’ racial attitudes

Scholars have correlated the racial attitudes of White partisans with a number of explanatory variables, including ingroup favoritism and outgroup prejudice. Notwithstanding the importance of these variables, scholars have neglected other constructs that may also be relevant to understanding White racial attitudes. This paper addresses this important lacuna by analyzing how the racial attitudes of White partisans are shaped by progressive familial socialization (PFS) – defined as the frequency that a White individual was socialized by their families to be aware of the structural advantages of Whiteness. Drawing on data from Wave 43 of the American Trends Panel, the findings demonstrate that PFS is associated with increased awareness of the structural disadvantages faced by Blacks, and that these effects are more salient for White Democrats than White Republicans. I also find that PFS is politically consequential, with Whites socialized progressively on race being more likely to think that Trump has made race relations worse since taking office. More importantly, these effects may cut across partisan evaluations of Trump’s handling of race relations. I conclude that PFS is a construct that has significant implications for understanding what familial socialization practices on race may do for the future of US race relations.

Attached PDF:


License CC BY-NC-ND
Type Journal Articles
C-ID POLS 110 - American