Race Class Interactions in the Formation of Political-Ideology

Monica McDermott

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Interactions between race and class in the formation of ideology are of vital theoretical importance, yet they have been seriously underresearched. Those studies that do note the significance of race/class interactions have been mainly descriptive, with no adequate theoretical explanation of the interactions. Using data from the 1987 GSS, the complexity of the interaction effects upon different aspects of political ideology, particularly in regards to black managers, is illustrated. The effects of race and class on ideology are not determined in a simple additive manner, but are evidenced in more intricate ways. Black managers are the most liberal group in response to items measuring general beliefs about the fairness of the system, but black workers are the most liberal group in response to items measuring beliefs about government social welfare spending. Such interaction effects may be shaped by the process of political struggle and social movement organization, and a theoretical model formulating this process is proposed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-366
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994


  • black middle-class resource mobilization social-mo


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