Racial Status Threat May Produce Backlash Against Federal Assistance Programs

A new study by researchers at Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley analyzing data from American National Election Studies finds that when White Americans are made aware that their demographic group will no longer be majority of the population of the United States, they become more resentful of minorities and are less likely to support federal entitlement programs like welfare.

“We find that Whites’ racial resentment rose beginning in 2008,” wrote authors Robb Willer of Stanford and Rachel Wetts of Berkeley. “These findings are consistent with our claim that feeling of racial threat – particularly, the perception of increased political power among minorities during a period of economic recession – helped shape Whites’ welfare attitudes in recent years.”

The authors explain that “in the case of American social welfare programs, this further implies that evidence of increased racial equality could exacerbate overall economic inequality. As Whites attempt to undermine racial progress they see as threatening their group’s status, they increase opposition to programs intended to benefit poorer members of all racial groups.”

The study, “Privilege on the Precipice: Perceived Racial Status Threats Lead White Americans to Oppose Welfare Programs,” was published on the website of the journal Social Forces. It may be accessed here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Tuskegee University Flight School Receives $6.7 Million in Federal Funding

With a $6.7 million investment from the federal government, Tuskegee University will launch a new bachelor's degree in aviation science. The program will teach students about aviation science and technology and provide them with flight school training.

Three African Americans Appointed to University Faculty Positions

The faculty appointments are Dexter Blackman at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Stephanie Henderson at Alcorn State University in Mississippi, and Yolanda Pierce at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

Virginia State University Approved to Launch Master’s Degree in Data Analytics

The master's degree in data analytics will prepare students to use data to make strategic technology and business decisions. The new degree program will be the 14th established master's degree at Virginia State University.

Samuel Frimpong Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Mineral Industry Education

Dr. Frimpong was honored by the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration with the 2024 Mineral Industry Education Award. He currently serves as a professor of mineral engineering, the Robert H. Quenon Endowed Chair, and vice provost for graduate education at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Featured Jobs