The theory of symbolic racism places its origins in a blend of anti-Black affect and conservative values, particularly individualism. We clarify that hypothesis, test it directly, and report several findings consistent with it. Study 1 shows that racial prejudice and general political conservatism fall into 2 separate factors, with symbolic racism loading about equally on both. Study 2 found that the anti-Black affect and individualism significantly explain symbolic racism. The best-fitting model both fuses those 2 elements into a single construct (Black individualism) and includes them separately. The effects of Black individualism on racial policy preferences are mostly mediated by symbolic racism. Study 3 shows that Black individualism is distinctively racial, with effects distinctly different from either an analogous gender individualism or race-neutral individualism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science