Multiculturalism in American public opinion

Jack Citrin, David O. Sears, Christopher Muste, Cara Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiculturalism has emerged to challenge liberalism as an ideological solution in coping with ethnic diversity in the United States. This article develops a definition of political multiculturalism which refers to conceptions of identity, community and public policy. It then analyses the 1994 General Social Survey and a 1994 survey of Los Angeles County to assess the contours of mass support and opposition to multiculturalism, testing hypotheses concerning the role of social background, liberalism-conservatism and racial hostility. The main conclusions are that 'hard' versions of multiculturalism are rejected in all ethnic groups, that a liberal political self-identification boosts support for multiculturalism, and that racial hostility is a consistent source of antagonism to the new ethnic agenda of multiculturalism. There is strong similarity in the results in both the national and Los Angeles samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-275
Number of pages29
JournalBritish Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Multiculturalism in American public opinion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this