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Media Framing and the Dynamics of Racial Policy Preferences Author(s): Paul M.

Kellstedt Source: American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Apr., 2000), pp. 245-260 Published by: Midwest Political Science Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2669308 . Accessed: 21/05/2013 11:43
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MediaFraming andtheDynamics ofRacial Policy Preferences


Paul M. Kellstedt Brown University

Whyare thereliberaland conservativeeras inAmericans'policypreferences about race? In answeringthis question, I first develop a time-series measure of aggregate racial policy preferencesby compilingmultiple indicatorsof racial policypreferences intoa single composite measure. Next,I propose a new model in which in the tenorof media coverage shifts of race-focusing on the core values of egalitarianism and individualism at different times-leads the public to prefer moreor less active governmentpolicies on race. I test the model using data from Newsweek magazine and include appropriate controlsforpotentially confounding factors,such as generationalreplacement,policymood, feedback from the policyprocess, and economic sentiment.

hy,at some times, does theAmerican publicprefer a relatively activegovernment to bringabout racial equality, whereasat othertimes, thepublicopposes such action?Asking thisquestionpresupposes thatthere areperiodsof relative liberalism and conservatismin aggregate racialpolicypreferences. However, thereis no scholarly consensus thatsucherasevenexist.1 But intuition about politicaleras tellsus thatthe 1960swas a timeof liberalism. We notethepassageof theCivilRights Actsof 1964 and 1968, theVotingRightsAct of 1965, and the electionof LyndonJohnson, the championof bothpiecesoflegislation, who,in homageto his assassinated predecessor, promised to makecivilrights forblacksa central component of his administration. This era of liberalism on civilrights, did however, not go unchallenged. The 1968 electionof RichardNixon and the candidacyof GeorgeWallacesuggest thebeginnings of a conservative backlash. the 1980 electionof Ronald Reaganrepresented Further, a basic shift away from continued liberalism on civilrights. Reaganbemoanedtheuse of affirmative action and "quotas,"opposed the busingof school childrento achieveintegration, and attacked thewelfare statein general, whichsome perceived to be a veiledassaulton civilrights.

PaulM. Kellstedt isAssistant Professor intheDepartment ofPolitical Science andtheA. Alfred Taubman Center for PublicPolicy andAmerican Institutions, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912(Paul_Kellstedt@brown.edu). Manypeoplehaveprovided comments that haveimproved this project, including Larry Bartels, PaulSniderman, StanFeldman, Jim Kuklinski, MikeMacKuen, Brian Sala,John Sprague, John Bob Durr, Williams, EricLawrence, Lyman Kellstedt, andJohn I Transue. am particularly indebted to Jim Stimson, John Freeman, and John The NaSullivan. tionalScienceFoundation provideda grant thatmade thisresearch possible(SBR9423125).Thanksto David Primofordiligent research assistance. Thanksto Ethan Cherin, GregBelshe, and RowzatShipchandler forassistance withthescanning. The datanecessary toreplicate thefindings herein may be obtained bycontacting theauthor at Paul_Kellstedt@brown.edu. 'Critics (Schuman, Steeh, andBobo 1997;PageandShapiro 1992)havedetected significantmovement in other ofaggregate types racial attitudes, suchas thepercent ofpeople who think thatblacksare inherently less intelligent thanwhites. whenit However, comesto policy aboutrace, I viewas a subset preferences which ofracialattitudes, there is no consensus that they havechanged overthelastseveral Alsystematically decades. on themoregeneral research though ofracialattitudes I will concept has value, clearly myfocus restrict in thisarticle to racialpolicy preferences. American Journal ofPolitical Science, Vol.44,No. 2,April 2000,Pp. 239-255 ?2000 bytheMidwest Political Science Association
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aggregate preferences How, then,can we investigate on race overtime?Because of gaps in the data,it is not as "the"measureof possibleto choose a singleindicator overtime.Thatis,ifone wereto racialpolicypreferences action,no single about affirmative analyzepreferences timeserieshas enough data pointsto be of substantial some typeof sumuse in a statistical analysis; therefore difmeasure mustbe created to combinedata from mary is possible.In addior else no analysis ferent timeseries, It is the construct broadlyhas benefits. tion, defining powerful to talkabout "racialpolicy moretheoretically about bus"preferences preferences" as opposed to,say, because no survey ing."But it also poses real problems, survey itemsuniitemsexistat thislevelof abstraction; ask aboutspecific issues. formly and I adopt here,a methStimson(1991) develops, Ratherthan thesepredicaments. odologythataddresses a timeseriesof a survey itemconcerning busing viewing as solely specific isaboutthatvery piecesofinformation viewsitemssuch as sue at different timepoints, Stimson of a more generalconcept,whichhe theseas indicators callspolicymood. Policymood is a globalpredisposition a Longitudinal Developing Measure inof themass publicto favor moreor less government ofRacialPolicy Preferences Stimsondemonproblems. volvement to solvesociety's timeseriesrepresenting diverseisstrates thatmultiple intervention in the to research sues-from the environment Although longitudinal public opinion requires to education-all movetogether through time, repeated measures of identical questions over time economy In other evidencethata single"mood" exists. providing (Schumanand Presser1981),in the domain of race,the isis surprisingly thin. In largepart, thisis bewhenthepublicis moreliberalon educational record words, survey more liberalon cause thefocusofsurvey has shifted questions alongwith sues, forexample,it is simultaneously In addition, in many environmental issues as well. Policy mood, then,is a thecurrent debateon racialpolicy. a broadvariety of of survey from of the cases wherequestionshave been repeated, there combination marginals arelonggapsbetween administrations ofidentical items. different policyareas. This is especially truebeforethe GeneralSocial Surveys Forthequestionat hand,ifthebroadconceptof"rais meaningful, thenvariousindibetween cial policypreferences" began in 1973.Priorto 1973,gaps of fouryears administrations ofan itemarenotuncommon. Mostimcatorsofracialpolicypreferences shouldall movein parin the 1950s and 1960s,when race was front- allel fashion through time; if the concept is not portantly, are gaps in therecord meaningful, thenthe various seriesshould move indepage newson a regular basis,there ofpublicopinion. of one another. pendently I have compilednineteendiversetime-series items To date,no satisfactory to theseproblems remedies number havebeen developedand applied to the racial-attitudes on racialpolicypreferences. Questionwording, and thesurvey arelisted literature. Most researchers organization proceedto examineall avail- of administrations, in theappendix.The content of itemsvaries, but myseable data and thenpainta descriptive ofthepubpicture lic's preferences riesincludequestionsabout busing, government spendabout a varietyof policies at various thegovernment is pushingcivilrights ing,and whether points in time (Schuman, Steeh,and Bobo 1997; Page a nearly It represents and Shapiro 1992; Mayer 1992; Sigelman and Welch "too fast," complete amongothers. racialpolicyprefer- listing of questionson racialpolicythathavebeen asked of aggregate 1991).A typical portrait at leasttwicebythesame survey describes the encesbeginswitha singleissue,saybusing, organization.2 resultsof severalpolls thatassess supportforbusing, (1997) proSteeh, and Bobo'sworkon racialattitudes the process. 2Schuman, thenmoves on to the nextissue,repeating (see espeaboutracialattitudes listofquestions videsan extensive can be paintedwithparticu- ciallychapter But none of theseportraits itemsthat 3). I includemost(but not all) of their larly richdetail. that omititems butdeliberately preferences, racial policy dealwith

Have all of these importantelectoral and policy in Americans' changesoccurredin the absence of shifts racial policypreferences? In this article, I will describe and explaintheebb and flowof racialpolicypreferences in Americaoverthepastseveral decades.In thenextsecI willdemonstrate havebeen liberalpeaks tion, thatthere in racial policy preferences, followedby drifts toward and drifts back againin a liberaldirection. conservatism, thismovement is synchronous acrossissues, Moreover, over a wide variety of racial encompassing preferences I will propolicies.In orderto explainthesedynamics, ofracialpolicypreferences pose a macro-level theory and testthismodel usingtime-series analysis. My theoretical focuswillbe on thenationalmedia and their subtlerole in nudging theAmerican publicin either liberalor conservative directions as a result of thevaluestheychoose to emphasize in theircoverageof race. I will testthis withtime-series data and concludewithsuggestheory tionsforfuture research.

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FIGURE1
2

Four Time SeriesofRacialPolicy 1970-1993 Liberalism,

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It is perhapshelpful to ask: can anyinitialevidence of commonmovement, likethatwhichStimsondiscovers,be foundin thesevarious series?Figure 1 displays four of the series from 1970 to 1993, plus a simple In each case,higher weighted averageof thefour. values represent more liberal aggregate preferences. Three of the series are from the General Social Surveys,the fourth from theNationalElectionStudies.The fourare busing,minority aid, spendingon blacks, and school It appears that these fouritems share a segregation.3 considerableamount of common movementover this timeperiod,an interesting finding, giventhattheitems coverfairly different issue areas. The itemsall started out at relatively liberalpointsin the early1970s,but siin a conservative multaneously began drifting direction throughoutthe decade, hittinga conservativepeak
arenotmanifestly aboutracial Forexample, becauseI focus policy. on racialpolicy I do notexamine preferences, questions ofsocial or about explanations forblack-white A few distance inequality. items thatI include arenotfound in Schuman, Steeh, and Bobo's book.In addition, thenineteen items represented hereinclude an mixture ofabsolute and relative eclectic items ones;becauseofthe oftotalitems, smallnumber themethod described however, using below,it is notpossibleto separate theseitemsout intoseparate
indices.

theelectionof Ronald Reagan, around 1980.Then,after apparently each beganto drift back in a liberaldirection, that peakingin the early1990s.It is worthemphasizing the movementsin these series are substantial:at the conservative zenitharound 1980, forexample,each of thesefourserieshit a point approachingtwo standard real deviationsbelow its respective mean,representing in opinionranging to eighteen shifts from twelve points. strongly suggests thatthereis a This parallelmovement specificracial policy spiritof the timesthatinfluences If the preliminary evidence preferences of all varieties. thenit is no longernecesin Figure1 is not misleading, saryto examineeach timeseriesof racialpolicypreferencesseparately. As a result of thevisual evidencein Figure1,I have combinedthevariousseriesintoa singleannualtimeseriesusingStimson'salgorithm, measuredfrom1950 to seriescan be seenin Figure 2, where 1993.4The resulting more liberal aggregate preferhighervalues represent and into the the Ameriences.Through the 1950s 1960s, an activist to can publicincreasingly favored government bringabout racial equality.Liberalismpeaked around began a slow but steadymove 1970, and the electorate
is described in Appendix1 of Stimson 4The original algorithm however; is a slightly different used here, (1991). The algorithm in Stimson in detail (1994). version and is described

3Notethattheseries of havebeen standardized forthepurposes graphical presentation, buteachwillremain in itsnative metric in theanalyses to follow.

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FIGURE2
130

Racial PolicyPreferences, 1950-1993

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120-

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115-

00

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1950 0 m 105

19415

9216

9017

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1950 19'5419'5819216190171981218690 Year

towardconservatism on race throughout the 1970s;but then the trendwas reversedaround the firstelection of Ronald Reagan. The public became more liberal throughout the decade of the 1980s,even eclipsingthe of the 1960s.Data fromthe early1990sindiliberalism cate thatthismostrecent trendhas reversed again.This lends empiricalsupportto the notion that description public opinion variesunderstandably, not haphazardly or randomly, overtime. The correlations betweeneach specific indicatorof racialpolicypreferences aggregate and thefinal indexcan be foundin Table 1.5 Most of theitemsload strongly on thefactor, witheight oftheitems with having correlations it above 0.80.6 Indicatorsfromall subdomains of race
of the nineteen 5I have presented neither a correlation matrix That is because no itemsnor a principal-components analysis. data.Facsuchanalyses arepossible due to thevolumeofmissing in particular, dataat all,and a toranalysis, cannot handlemissing ofmissing correlation matrix with deletion datawouldbe pairwise at all withothmisleading, forseveral oftheitems do notoverlap thereare onlya fewpointsin common. ers,and more often, a wayaroundthisproblem, in Stimson's methodology provides itis analogous to (dynamic) factor with missing data. that analysis in Table1 between eachindicator and The correlations presented theindexcan be interpreted scores. as communality

politicscorrelate highly withthe index.That aggregate movement in preferences aboutgovernment guaranteeing equal accessto publicaccommodations runsparallel with preferences about affirmative action,forexample,is a 1 and 2 repnovelfinding. And themovement in Figures in aggregate the resents sizableshifts sentiment although is somewhat scope of thismovement obscured bythearmetric ofthealgorithm. Whenexamined individutificial oftheindexofracialpolicy ally, manyofthecomponents preferences span ranges of overtwenty percentage points in support forliberal policy-and thisis especially trueof itemsthatcoverlongertimespans. Conversely, it is rare foran itemnot to haveat leasta ten-point difference betweenitsminimum and maximum values.7
sentsa separate dimension. To thecontrary, theNORC/GSS version of thebusingitem(askedfifteen times)correlates at 0.805 with so there is nothing theoverall factor; aboutbusing perse that leadsto thisresult. The mostlikely reasonfor theseodd findings, then, is sampling error. BoththeNES busingitemas wellas the otherindicators thatdo not load well on theindex(two of the items load below0.2) tendto be thosewith thefewest datapoints in theseries. In theshorter series, one skewed samplecan havea on thecorrelation between that indicator andthe significant effect corseries. Andtheitems thatareweakly or negatively composite related with theindex likely do so for thisreason.

7Because theindexcontains onlynineteen items, it is natural however. One itemto 6There are a fewexceptions to thispattern, ifit is overly to theparticular sensitive items used in any negatively wonder theNES busingitem(askedfive times)-was actually If thiswerethecase,theresulting indexwoulddiffer withtheindex. Thisdoes notmeanthatbusingrepre- givenyear. correlated

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of thesedistinct individual-level dimensions; things that are separableat theindividual levelmaystill, because of outside forces, drift together throughtime.And their commonmovement represents something thatis politiCorrelation cally meaningful. Understandingand explainingthis Item with Index is theprimary movement concern ofthisresearch. NES/Accommodations 0.880 Harris/Affirmative Action (Educ./Employment) 0.454 Harris/Affirmative Action (Women/Minorities) 0.390 Media Coverage andtheDynamics of Trendex/Aid minorities 0.974 Aggregate RacialPolicy Preferences 0.805 GSS/Busing toofast Gallup/Integration 0.985 Most Americansdo not directly experienceaffirmative GSS/Help blacks 0.626 to achieve actionpolicies, schoolbusing racialintegration, NES/Aid minorities 0.585 or other suchgovernmental actions. theseactions Rather, -0.521 NES/Busing are experienced thenationalmedia. vicariously, through NES/Fair injobs(short) treatment 0.993 In the 1950s and 1960s,veryfewAmericanspersonally treatment in jobs (long) NES/Fair 0.405 the civilrights witnessed thatdefined thatera. protests ofblacks conditions 0.930 GSS/Improving occurred in isolatedSouthern Manyoftheseevents rural toblacks GSS/Assistance 0.866 environments, farremoved from thebulkof thepopula0.358 CBSNYT/Affirmative action tion.YetAmericansexperienced theseevents, manyof whichbecame a partof thebroaderAmericanpolitical NES/Help blacks 0.200 because theywere mediated.9 environment, Hence, how NES/Residential openness 0.386 in themedia is extremely racialpolicyis covered impor0.875 GSS/Open housing tant. has is that cerMy argument coverage emphasized Roper/Ghettos, race,andpoverty 0.126 tain core American with the of values, degree emphasis NES/School segregation 0.148 overtime. varying Note: See theappendix for precise question wording. Whatare thesecoreAmerican values?Theyare two of theAmericanethos,individualism and centerpieces to theprinciple that Individualism refers egalitarianism. A clearpicture has emerged: is sizableand systhere peopleshouldgetahead on their own,pullthemselves up tematic in racialpolicypreferences movement overtime. A personshouldgetwhathe or own bootstraps. bytheir A single, measurecaptures movelongitudinal aggregate she earnsand earnwhathe or she gets.Assistance from mentin racialpolicypreferences quitewell.8Of course, norparticugovernment (or anyone else) is notrequired, thisdoes notimply thatracialpolicypreferences are unihas long been considered larlydesirable.Individualism dimensional at theindividuallevel.Kinderand Sanders the distinguishing Americanvalue. Tocqueville([ 1835, (1996, chapter2), in particular, suggestthatthereare 1840] 1945) saw it as the featurethat distinguished threedimensions of racialpolicypreferences. But thisis Americafrom itsEuropeancounterparts, and recent renot inconsistent withcommonmovement time through searchconfirms its continuedimportance (Bellah et al. in contrast, asserts thefundamen1985). Egalitarianism, substantially ifanyone ofthenineteen items were To test dropped. tal value of all As equal people. such, every person dethisproposition, I haverecalculated theracialpolicypreferences serves to in Ifparticuan succeed life. indexnineteen separate equal opportunity times, each timeeliminating justone of theoriginal nineteen items(thatis, thenew nineteen seriesare lar individuals or groups are disadvantaged, the uniquecombinations ofeighteen ofthenineteen original items). theplaying field. mayhavea rolein leveling The results (available from theauthor upon request) areinstruc- government valueshas shownthatsubstantial Research on American I correlated tive. eachofthenineteen newseries with thefull racial policypreference measure. The average correlation between the of Americans do not choose one or the other majorities
TABLE

Correlations ofIndicators of Racial PolicyPreferences with OverallIndex

9Many studies (Krosnick and Kinder 1990, for example) haveused mediacoverage as a proxy for theeffects ofevents, as I do. The into ignore 8Thelatest version ofStimson's is never events as likely causesofopinionshifts, but algorithm (available athttp://www. tent to understand theeffects of themmorefully bymodeling oftwo-dimensional rather unc.edu/-jstimson) allowsforthepossibility themore proximate causeofopinion change, namely mediacoversolutions. thefit to Multi-dimensional solutions did notimprove thedataat all and did notprovide drive mediacoverage is iman interpretable seconddimen- age.The issueofhow (ifat all) events portant, butitis a separate issue. sion.

full measure andeacheighteen-item is 0.975, index indicating that thefull indexis notdependent on anyone oftheindividual items that comprise it.

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position, but subscribe to thetenets of both of theseabstractvalues (McClosky and Zaller 1984; Kinder and Sanders1996,Tables6.1 and 6.2). MostAmericans concedethatblackshavesuffered a disadvantaged history. But whatshould government do about this?Here,the consensusends,and the prescriptions of individualismand egalitarianism differ. Indiof course,dictates vidualism, thatblacks,now freefrom the legal bonds of discrimination, must get ahead on theirown without governmental assistance. In contrast, egalitarianism prescribes thatall people mustbe givena fairchance,and therefore to the extent thatblackshave been deniedan equal chance, mustbe done to something rectify pastwrongs. At timesin our history, a particularvalue is highlighted at theexpenseofanother; at other times, thesituationis reversed. inMedia coverage of race emphasizes dividualismon some occasions and egalitarianism on in thenatureof media conand thesedifferences others, tentover time are among the primarycauses forthe in racialpolicypreferences. variation Whenthecues presentedbythemediaat anygivenmomentare disproportionatelycomposed of references to egalitarianism, to express forlibpeople willbe morelikely preferences eralracialpolicies.When,at othertimes, themedia send messagesdisproportionately emphasizingthe value of to express individualism, the public will be morelikely conservative policypreferences.10 This hypothesized tensionbetweenindividualism in media contentis consistent and egalitarianism with In the 1950sand early1960s,stohistorical recollection. ries in the media portrayed blacksbeing systematically deniedtheirright to votein mostSouthern black states, childrenbeing prevented by the police fromattending school withwhitechildren, black citizensbeing denied serviceat "whitesonly"lunch counters, and nonviolent forprotesting blackmarchers thesesituabeingattacked tions.The media's messagedemonstrated the inconsisbetween American beliefs in egalitarianism and the tency I treated blacks. that this waysociety hypothesize framing led thepublicto express moreliberalpreferences on racial policy. After Actof 1964,theVotpassageoftheCivilRights Actof 1965,and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 ing Rights
in it is reasonable to consider otherpossiblethemes '0Certainly, be causally related to racial mediacoverage aboutracethatmight or black poverty policypreferences. Coveragethatemphasizes I haveexamamongothers. blackcrime certainly comesto mind, many ofwhich are inedmany ofthese themes in mediacoverage, they turn out notto be meaningmeaningful politically. However, preferences as I measure them. ful(statistically) for racial policy As a result, I omitthem from mydiscussion here. topreserve space,

legalrights that (FairHousing),mostofthefundamental movement had werethe statedgoals of the civil rights to improve thelivesof black been won. But thestruggle moveThe focusofthecivilrights Americans continued. ment shifted to thornierissues, namelythe means to ac(like busing) and affirmative achievedesegregation tion programsto achieve workplace and educational in thenatureof generated a shift equality. And thisshift to issuesfromegalitarian media coverageof civilrights themes. Although it is not uncommonto individualistic "levelsee stories about affirmative actionthatmention or "making up forpast discriminaingtheplaying field" at leastas often, tion"(thatis, usingegalitarian frames), in theguiseof thecorevalue of such coverage is framed Termssuch as "reverse individualism. discrimination," "race-based quotas,"and thelikewereused and became something fortheviewthatblacksweregetting symbols Liberalracial thatwas not earnedor deserved, but given. sometimes transgress upon thetraditional policies, then, Media messagesthat Americanbeliefin individualism. value betweentheAmerican highlight theinconsistency of individualism and liberalracialpolicieslead to more conservative policypreferences.11

andMeasurement SomeIssues ofDesign


The hypothesespreviouslyoutlined are longitudinal To testthe time-series analysis. through claims,testable I will turnto Grangercausality tests, causal assertions, suchissues methodforresolving thestandard time-series Williams,and Lin 1989). (see Freeman1983; Freeman, thatalso it is likely thatthereare otherforces However, overtime; racial policypreferences influence aggregate wouldpose a seritheanalysis theseforces from .omitting ous threat to inference. Six possiblyconfounding (and forcescome to mind. First, possiblycomplementary) on policymood,it consistent withDurr's(1993) research or pessimism about is possiblethataggregate optimism the futureof the economydrivesracial policy preferences. Durr postulatesthatperiods of economic optiwith theory ofpublicopinionis consistent "This aggregate-level ofopinionformation mechanisms individual-level many different proof for a particuconclusive butitdoesnotprovide andchange, it micro-level models, themany Among theory. larindividual-level (1992;Zaller1992) notionof withZallerand Feldman's resonates on (1981) emphasis considerations and Hochschild's competing as withother micro-foundations Butitis consistent ambivalence. in aboutuncertainty and Brehm's (1997) argument well.Alvarez as is Kinder withthismacrotheory, is consistent racialattitudes or Snidermanand and Sanders'(1996) emphasison framing in survey Piazza's (1993) evidenceabout counter-arguments experiments.

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is becoming "morelibmean to saythatthegovernment The quesor "more on racial eral" conservative" policy? difand there areconcomitant to answer, '2There is one difference between Durr'smeasure ofexpectations tionis difficult and mine.Durrpurges his measure of in quantifying thissomewhatelusiveconcept. of economicexpectations ficulties theinfluence ofpolitical events and (suchas presidential approval tanthe focus here is the government's Conceptually, I do not.This difference honeymoon periods),whereas should is to the discrimination that commitment fight gible haveminimal ifany, becauseDurr'saggregation is interval effects, legislaproscribedin the various pieces of civil rights whereas mineis years. quarters, If tion. store and voter bankers, regisowners, realtors, 13Theuniverse of itemsused in mymeasureof PolicyMood is tration officialswant to deny equal rightsto blacks, different thanStimson's. He includes aboutrace slightly questions in his measure of Policy Mood; I recompute his indexexcluding meredeclarations thatsuch activities from Washington theitems thathaveracialcontent, for theobviousreason thatinwill the are not practiceof discompletely stop illegal in two of racialpolicypreferences cludingthe same indicators ifit is committed to crecrimination. The government, measures wouldartificially someassociation beseparate produce In this tween them. outnotto affect thereparticular case,itturns fieldforall races,mustback up the atinga levelplaying sults(which areavailable theauthor). from uponrequest laws withenforcement. It mustestablisha bureaucracy 141t in 1964, couldbe argued that thisseries shouldstart whenthe in its various to investigate chargesof discrimination CivilRights Actwas passed.Without merits forms, therelative debating and prosecutethose thatviolatethe laws.Withofdifferent measurement it shouldsuffice to notethat strategies, the civil rights legislation efforts, noneofthesubsequent areat all affected results different out enforcement byusing measures ofgenerational replacement. would be oftignored.

mismare associatedwithan aggregate willingness to pay forliberal(and often expensive) government policies.In contrast, whentheoutlookfortheeconomicfuture is less rosy, the public becomes less enthusiastic about bankrollinga liberal government agenda. Like Durr,I will measure economic optimismand pessimismwiththe of Michigan's University timeserieson consumer expectations forbusinessconditions in thenextfive years.12 A second alternative in racial explanationforshifts policy preferences is thatpublic willingnessto accept government intervention on matters ofraceis a function of publicwillingness to acceptgovernment intervention more In thissense,policypreferences on race generally. areviewedas a subsetofa broadersetofpolicyconcerns. Changesin racialpolicypreferences, reflect then, changes in policyconcerns Stimson(1991) conceives of generally. in aggregate this and crepolicypreferences precisely way ates a serieshe calls PolicyMood (whichwas alludedto the global predispositionof the earlier). It represents masspublicto endorseor rejectgovernment activism."3 A third alternative forexplaining movements in racial policypreferences is the generational replacement hypothesis, which arises fromthe work of Schuman, Steeh,and Bobo (1997, chapter4). Simplyput,the authorshypothesize thatearliergenerations ofAmericans weresocializedinto a societywherebigotry and racism wereexpected, both from individuals and fromgovernments. Generations socializedsincethecivilrights movementgrewup in a country whilestillimperfect, bethat, gan to include blacks as fullpartnersin the American dream.I willmeasuretheseeffects theproby counting or portionoftheadultpopulationthatturned18 during after1963, whichwas the beginningof a briefperiod whencivilrights dominated theAmerican agenda.14 For before1963,theseriesconsists of zeros. years

to speculatethatothertypes Fourth, it is reasonable of media framesmightinfluenceracial policy prefertheemphasison states' rights might ences.In particular, in the 1950sand 1960s,when be important, particularly it (ratherthan individualism) was the central"value withegalitarianism. In thisearlierperiod,one conflict" of the primaryarguments againstfederalgovernment intrusion on behalfof blackswas thatthiswas an area properlyleftto the states.Measuring the number of database (destates'rightsframeswiththe Newsweek scribednext)is straightforward. do Fifth, it is possiblethatracialpolicypreferences aboutblacks, type ofcoverage notrespondto a particular aboutblacks.Perhapsit is not but to coverage of anysort theimportance of valueslikeindistories thathighlight in thecontext ofracethatinvidualism or egalitarianism the sheervolume of fluencepublic opinion,but rather storieson race that influencespublic opinion on the I hypothIncreasesin the amount of coverage, matter. moresympathy forblacks,thusedgesize,will generate ing support forliberal policies upward.The measure thenumberof stories about race per used hereis simply magazine. yearin Newsweek are Finally, itis possiblethatracialpolicypreferences in actualracialpolicy-in somehowinfluenced byshifts a policy-feedback Perhapsas racial typeof relationship. less policybecomes more liberal,the public findsitself withsuch policies;conversely, as racialpolicy enchanted sees thepublicincreasingly becomesmoreconservative, withthe"thermothe need forthem.This is consistent outlined in Wlezien static" model of representation (1995) and Durr (1993).

whatdoes it racial policy.Conceptually, Measuring

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It is often said thatbudgetsare the mostsincere expressions ofgovernmental priorities. Unlike roll-call measures, do notsuffer budgetary measures from a longitudinal validityproblem. Dollars spent in the 1960s are to dollarsspentin the1990s, comparable after controlling In thecase ofrace,there forinflation. aresixkeyagencies or divisions ofdepartments thatareinvolved in enforcing civilrights existing legislation (UnitedStates Commission in theDeon CivilRights ofCivilRights 1982):theOffice in the of Education;the Office of Civil Rights partment Department of Healthand Human Services(and, in earlieryears, theOffice in theDepartment of CivilRights of Health, andWelfare); theCivilRights Education, Division of theDepartment of Justice; the Office of FederalContract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in theDepartment ofLabor;theOffice ofFairHousingand Equal Opportuin nity Housingand UrbanDevelopment (HUD); and the independent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Each of theseagenciesrequires a substantial sum of moneyto carry out itsmission.Theyall employinvestigatorsto look into complaintsand lawyersto pursue those complaintsif warranted.It is possible, then,to measurethe federalgovernment's commitment to the of civilrights enforcement lawsrelative to othergovernmentalpriorities by simplyexaminingthe size of each annualbudget. agency's is straightforward. The measurement For each fiscal I sum all dollarsin yearin whichtheseagenciesexisted, theseagencies' eachprogram zerodollars budgets(giving foryearsbeforetheyexistedor after theyexpired)and divide that subtotalby the total government budget, yieldinga percentof the total budgetdevotedto antidiscrimination efforts. themoreliberalthe Presumably, is on issuesofcivilrights, themoremoneyit government will spend on those programsrelative to othersin the whenthegovernment wantsto scale budget.Conversely, back effort on the civilrights it will spendless on front, thoseprograms relative to others.

quantification. Hence, content analysisof textbecomes


necessary.15

Of course,this approach requiresthe existenceof This is a tallorelectronic textas inputfortheprogram. from der,giventhattheperiod of interest runsroughly as my 1950 to the early1990s.I have chosen Newsweek primary sourceof media data.16 A totalof 2,087 articles Stories from1975 onwardwas obtained fromNexis.17 library arfrom 1950to 1974wereoptically scannedfrom in thatperiod, there were1,953stories aboutrace. chives; therawstories and creating a dictionary that Taking is will detectindividualist or egalitarian emphasis difficult. These storiesneverovertly trumpetthe factthat in indibelief "liberal racialpoliciescan violate America's valuesdemand vidualism," or that"America's egalitarian a levelplaying fieldforall races." Allusionsto valuesare The detecreferences subtle, and overt are theexception. intion of egalitarian value cues in the content analysis about volveslocatingseveraltypesof ideas: statements blacks having equal rightsthat whiteshave or about in general;phrasesfocusing on fairness or equal rights in variouspartsof thepoequality(or thelack thereof)
151n the contentanalyses that follow,I use InfoTrend1.0

St.Paul,MN 55108).This (InfoTrend, Inc.,2115 DudleyAvenue, allows thetranslation ofwords comtechnology for (and specified ofwords)intouser-defined ideas(suchas individualism binations of key and egalitarianism). The analystprovidesa dictionary to form ideas. words andhowthey combine beis a weekly which is available from Nexis 16Newsweek magazine, in January backintime thanother sources. ginning 1975-further On pragmatic itisthebestchoice, becauseofthereduced grounds, theelectronic data. But Newsweek neededto supplement effort has of thisfact. Newsweek be thebestchoiceirrespective might had a broad, national circulation ofovertwomillion. consistently liketheNew Its audienceis lesshighbrow thanelitenewspapers an analysis of NewsYork or the Washington Times Post, making thesource that is unrepresenweek lesssusceptible to thecriticism influence And it is probably truethatNewsweek's (likeits tative. of hasbeenrelatively consistent over the40-plus years circulation) was notwidely interest. Contrast thiswith television which news, until themidthelayout ofNewsweek has available 1960s.Finally, Themorerenotchanged over theperiodofanalysis. significantly in their centversions ofthemagazine aremorecolorful graphics in the 1990sButthekeysections ofthemagazine presentation. and Finance, thePeriscope, Business National Perspective, Affairs, from the and nearly all others-areidentical to their predecessors and themagazine The articles tendto be ofsimilar 1950s. lengths, ofarticles has roughly thesamenumber perissueas ithad in the I find on matters ofsubstance, no significant differpast.In short, the issuesof Newsweek and issuesfrom encesbetweencurrent 1950s. a forthelatter of 2,087 stories 17The figure periodcomesfrom of thewords Boolean searchin Nexisforat leasttwo mentions 1994. from 1975through "negro," "black,or "African-American" irofwhich wereclearly Thissearch produced 3,243"hits' many relevant. Those thatwerenot aboutblacksin theUnitedStates wereused in stories weredeleted, leaving2,087.The remaining their entirety.

Measuring MediaFraming
A finalhurdleremains-the task of measuring(again, overtime)thedegree to whichthemediaframe coverage of race in termsof individualistic or egalitarian values. Unlikepublic opinion and economicdata,thereare no availabletimeseriesof media-framing data.And unlike the marginals fromopinion surveys or economic data, or television amenableto newspaper proseis not readily

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FIGURE 600

and Individualist ValueMentions Egalitarian


250

500I

200

C400 o
aD

4
(D

150

-~ 300Y
CZ

0) 200

100

A
-Egal
-

-Idiv

Year

liticalprocess(likevoting rights, forexample);sentences referring to "equal protection ofthelaws," or to itscounterpart, Jim Crow laws; reports of blacksseekingequal suchas buses,schools, accessto facilities and thelike;storiesreferring to open housing;sentences describing bigtowardsblacksor hate crimescommitted otrydirected on racialdiscriminaagainstblacks;statements focusing and lawsthatattempt tion in employment to prevent it; and finally, thatdescribe stories segregation. Whenmaking references such as these,the national media were framing theircoverageof race in egalitarianlanguage (Iyengar and Kinder1987),portraying American society in as one whichblacksare (or havebeen) treated as lessas unequals. than-full citizens, Through a similar process, individualistic valuecues on thefollowing are detected, themes: focusing coverage thatdescribesanytypeof government policydiscriminatingagainstwhitesin its effort to help blacks; sentencesthatdepict"reverse"discrimination; storiesthat blacksas lazy and undeserving of assistanceor portray and phrasesthatdescribeindividuals equality; (blackor white)as "earning" or "deserving" thebenefits or goods that theyreceive.These storiesfocus on the value of and about people gettingahead on their own effort

whether people aredeserving of assistance. The keyissue hereis merit: Arepeople,bothblacksand whites, getting whattheydeserve? Deservedness-of economicsuccess, of governmentassistance-is determinedby effort. Those who livethe Protestant workethicare exaltedas virtuous, whereasthosewho depend (especiallyon the lackcharacter. government) Of the2,087Newsweek stories thatweredownloaded atleastone mention ofeither from Nexis,1,606contained individualistic or egalitarian values.And from the 1,953 articles thepre-1975 indifrom period,1,437mentioned vidualistic or egalitarian values.Figure3 displays theremeasultingtimeseriesof egalitarian value mentions, from1950 to 1993.Although Newsweek's suredannually in references coverage of racecontained manyegalitarian the 1950s,theirprevalence exploded in the early1960s and continueduntilthe end of thatdecade. Egalitarian references became less common in the early1970s,but never Newsweek they disappeared altogether. Interestingly, in its references number ofegalitarian madean increasing coverage of raceas the 1980sprogressed. thetimeseriesof individualisFigure 3 also displays inditic cues,measuredoverthesame period.Although the 1960s, vidualistic references wereuncommonbefore

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they wereincreasingly caucommonin thatdecade,and they the results of severalGranger Table 2 presents proliferated in the 1970s,especially as 1980 approached. sality equation, a separate and tests.20 Each cellrepresents In addition, was a spikeof individualism there therespective block references thecellentries arethep-valuesfrom in theearly1990s.18 porto painta complete F-tests. The tableis notintended and rabetween media framing trait of therelationships Avalidation exercise. In order toseeifthere isa problem cial policypreferences, oftembutrather to be confident in selecting Newsweek as theonlysourceformediadata,I poral ordering-that is, to insure that subsequent downloadedfrom theNew York Times2,500 race stories structural fromsimultaneity bias models do not suffer from 1981through January December1993forpurposes due to confusing exogenousand endogenousvariables. of comparison.19 The identicaldictionary In the table, we see that egalitarian media framing was used on both setsof text. The extent to whichtheNewsweek (p = 0.011), but and causes racialpolicypreferences Granger theNew York Times seriesbehavesimilarly time no evidencecan be foundthatracialpolicypreferences through increases confidencein the validityof the Newsweek driveegalitarian media coverage(p = 0.636). However, betweeninat all can be detected measure.The similarities turnout to be substantial (for no causal relationship theegalitarian thecorrelation is r = 0.73). For the mediaframing and racialpolicy preferences; dividualistic series, individualism framing does not cause racialpolicyprefseries,the comparisonis somewhatless individualistic is r = 0.57). do not coefficient erences(p = 0.690), and racialpolicypreferences encouraging (thecorrelation = media framing (p 0.816). Also, cause individualistic thatthetwo typesof confirming myearlierexpectation there is connected, mediaframing shouldnotbe causally Results cause indiframes no evidencein Table2 thategalitarian or viceversa(p = 0.902 and p = 0.590). vidualistic frames Withmeasures ofall keyconstructs in hand,I proceedto The resultsin Table 2 provide reassurancesthat themerits ofmytheory. modeled evaluating The first is structural modelswithracialpolicypreferences imperative to clearup fundamental of media variableswill not suffer fromsimatters of causality. The theory as a function outlinedabovepredicts does not flowfrom thategalitarian and individualis- multaneity bias: Temporalordering tic media framing will drive racial policy preferences opinionto mediacoverage. On thebasisoftheseprelimiI move forward to a more traditionaldythroughtime,ratherthan eitherreverseor reciprocal naryresults, causalscenarios. ofreverse ofwhicharefoundin Andthepossibility namicstructural model,theresults causalitythatis,thepossibility on race Table 3. The dependentvariableis racial policypreferthatmasspolicy preferences drivemedia coverage on thetopic-is both sensibleand ences,and a laggedendogenousvariableis includedin of real.Thisalternative deserves serious conthe standardKoyckschemeto controlforthe effects very hypothesis foritsimplications about public opinion are previouslags of exogenousvariablesthatare excluded sideration, from thetheory This themodel.In thecolumn(a) of Table3, I showthe from quitedifferent described. previously with racial causal story would emphasizethattheAmericanmedia resultsof a bivariatedynamicregression, existin a marketsituationwithvigorouscompetition. policypreferences as the dependent variable,and egaliwiththe revenuesare a functionof audience size. tarianmedia framing as exogenous.Consistent Advertising mediaoutlets thatmarch out ofstepwiththeir findings of Granger media framing Therefore, causality, egalitarian audiencesdo so at their financial is a significant cause of racial policypreferences. (The who peril.Consumers of 0.01 is a sensethata particular mediaoutlet is out oftouchcan alcoefficient seemingly small,unstandardized The their of thelargevariancein themediavariable. attention to another information source. function waysshift to thisperspective, aresomewhat The standardized beta is ofnewsintrueeffects larger. According then, producers formationhave a strongincentive-lucrative market 0.12, and thesecontemporaneous effects are magnified share-to follow current lingerforseveral by strongdynamics,as these effects publicopinion. timeperiods.) subsequent
18A humancodercheckedforpossibleproblems withthe computer-generated results and foundover95 percent agreement. Moreimportantly, there wereno systematic (thatis,repeated over in coding. and over)errors 19The 2,500NewYork Times stories represents a random sample of around 10,000storieson race thatappearedin thepaper.The = blacks in criterion wasa subject search employed search (subject
U.S.).

trendscomplicated the nor deterministic 20Neither stochastic fewnumber of data points(N = therelatively analysis, although testsand KPSS testsfor Augmented Dickey-Fuller 44) rendered variables. in thecaseofseveral tobe inconclusive levelstationarity methods alsoprecluded theuseofdata-intensive Theselimitations and models(see Box-Steffensmeier suchas fractional-integration (Freeman et Autoregression Modified Vector Smith 1998)or Fully al. 1998).

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TABLE 2

The Media,PublicOpinion, and theEconomy: Granger Test Results(Data in Levels)


Endogenousvariables

Exogenousvariables Racial policypreferences mediaframing Egalitarian Individualist mediaframing

Racial policypreferences 0.011 0.690

Egalitarian mediaframing 0.636 0.590

Individualist mediaframing 0.816 0.902

Note:Each cell represents a different equation. Cellentries are p-values from includes twolags ofall endogenous variables. blockF-tests. Each equation

in column(b) ofTable3 areagainbivariThe results ate,but in thiscase theexogenous variableis individualisticmedia framing. Again consistent withthe Granger I findno significant results, relationship betweenindividualistic media framing and racialpolicypreferences. The coefficient of 0.01 is statistically insignificant (t = 0.80) and in the opposite directionthan was hypothesized. In column (c) of the table,the policy-feedback hypothesis getsitsfirst test, again in a bivariate context, but theseresultsare equallyunpromising. The statisticallyinsignificant coefficient of 0.37 is also in theoppositedirection thanwas hypothesized.
TABLE

results in column(d) are fora model The regression includedas exogenousvariables. withall media effects ofrapredictor framing is a significant Again, egalitarian is not. butindividualistic framing cial policypreferences, isof states'rights thevariableforcoverage In addition, indicating thatincreased significant, sues is (marginally) emphasis on states'rightsnudges racial policy prefercan direction. however, No effect, encesin a conservative on race. be foundforthetotalamountof coverage in column(e) specified modelis presented The fully of policy of Table 3, withall threetypes media framing, as wellas economicexpectations, policymood, feedback,

The Determinants of Racial PolicyPreferences


(a) (b) 0.91** (0.07) (c) 0.93** (0.06) (d) 0.88** (0.07) 0.01* (0.01) 0.00 (0.01) -0.29# (0.17) -0.01 (0.01) 0.37 (2.90)

(e)
0.52 (0. 10) 0.02 (0,01) -0.02 (0.01) -0.27# (0.15) -0.03 (0.02) -9.36# (4.92) -0.01 (0.02) 0.20* (0.10) 0.19** (0.05) 38.58** (8.75) 0.92

Dynamics Egalitarian cues Individualistic cues States' rights cues Number stories on race Policy feedback Economic expectations Policy mood Generational replacement Constant R2
Note:N = 43 for all equations.
*

0.91** (0.06) 0.01* (0.00)

0.01 (0.01)

9.13 (6.66) 0.86

10.56 (7.39) 0.85

8.74 (7.28) 0.86

12.59# (7.22) 0.87

p < .10,two-tailed
p < .05, two-tailed < .01, two-tailed

** p

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the totalvolume of coverageon race,and generational replacement as exogenousvariables.As in columns (a) and (d), egalitarian is a significant mediaframing predictorof racialpolicypreferences, and in thismodel,theeff3 fects are enhanced(standardized = 0.25). To translate theseeffects into more interpretable numbers, consider thatthisindicatesthatbetween1982 and 1991,during whichtheGSS itemon busingshowedan increase in liberalism of fifteen points, about four of those fifteen in egalitarian over pointsare due to an increase framing thesame timeperiod. In thismultivariate context, individualistic media framingnarrowlymisses statisticalsignificance(p = thistimerunsin theexpected 0.14), and thecoefficient The coefficient (negative) direction. of-0.02, whenstanindicates thattheeffects of individualistic cues dardized, arelessthanhalfas largeas theeffects of egalitarian cues f = -0.12). Column (e) also showstheef(standardized fectsof othertypes of media coverage.In particular, there is a small(and marginally ofcovsignificant) effect As in erageof states'rights on racialpolicypreferences. column(d), increased focuson states' lessenssuprights is port forliberal racial policies. The effect, however, smaller eventhanthatforindividualistic coverage (standardizedD = -0.10). The totalcoverage of racein Newsweekis unrelated to racial policypreferences; although is in the it therelationship expecteddirection, does not approachstatistical significance. If anything, the effects thesefindings understate of media coverageon nationalopinion on race. It is wellknownthatmeasurement in independent error variables tends to attenuate statisticalrelationships,and the Newsweek measuresused here,althoughthe best measuresavailableto date,surely are imperfect indicators of overall mediacoverage. Otherfindings from column(e). The policyemerge feedback variableemergesas a (marginally) significant of racialpolicypreferences. In themultivariate predictor in policyproducedisenchantment liberalshifts context, withthosepolicies, and opinionbecomesmoreconservative.In addition, bothpolicymood and generational reare significant of racialpolicyprefplacement predictors erences. Thatis,as thepublicbecomesmoreaccepting of action generally, it also becomes more acgovernment ofgovernment intervention to bringabout racial cepting This represents to thepowerofa "naequality. testimony tionalmood," where acrossa widerangeofispreferences In sues (including time.21 race) movein tandemthrough
between moodandracial Thedynamic relationship policy policy their relaBox ofissues, preferences opensa Pandora's including tionship to theevolution oftheAmerican party system. Thoseissuesareofsignificant theoretical import, butliebeyond thescope ofthisarticle.
21

TABLE

The Determinants ofMediaFraming


Egalitarian framing 0.44** (0.12) 1.62** (0.44) -33.26 (64.19) -9.97 (38.75) 0.50 Individualistic framing 0.40** (0.15) 0.21 (0.20) 106.93** (42.16) -9.35 (17.22) 0.55

Variable Dynamics Economic expectations Policy feedback Constant R2

Note:N = 43 for all equations,standard errors are inparentheses. * p < .05, two-tailed p < .01, two-tailed

addition, theeffects of generational replacement are evif = 0.61); as oldergeneradentand strong (standardized tionsthatweresocializedinto an Americansocietythat discrimination expected against blacksbecome a smaller portionof thepopulation, society becomesmoreliberal on racialpolicy.Column (e) of Table 3 showsthatecoof ranomicexpectations are not a significant predictor cial policypreferences and thatwhateffect can be found runs in the wrongdirection.These conclusions differ from Durr's(1993). Table 4 presents two simplemodelsof thecauses of media dynamics-in the formof dynamicstructural and egalitarian media frammodelswithindividualistic ing as the dependentvariablesand economic expectaas theexogenous The tionsand policyfeedback variables. columnof Table 4 suggests thateconomicexpectafirst tions are a significant predictorof egalitarianmedia but policyfeedback seemsto have no effect on framing; this type of coverage.The second column of Table 4, is thedependent whereindividualistic framing variable, theoppositeeffects. suggests There, policyfeedback (but not economicexpectations) is foundto be a cause of inof theecomedia framing. As expectations dividualistic nomic future cues in the nabecome rosier, egalitarian increased tionalmediabecomemoreprevalent. Similarly, of racialpolicyis associatedwithan increase liberalism in individualistic cues from themedia,whichin turnare relatedto policypreferences, hence showingan indirect routewhereby policyaffects opinion,in additionto the effects foundin Table 3. Presumably, otherforces, direct orchestrated influence suchas events byopinionleaders, thetoneofmedia coverage. Clearly, manyforces shape racialpolicypreferences and have contributed to theirevolutionovertime.Unsurprisingly, generational replacement has been impor-

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tant in theliberalization ofAmerican opinionon race.But themediahavealso playeda role,as has opinionon government moregenerally, and racialpolicyitself. Although it might be tempting to reducethemain finding of this article to a statement ofthetype: "The mediainfluence raa morecomplete cial policypreferences," rendition ofthe findings herewould recognizethatthe natureof media influence is extremely subtle.The nationalmedia do not makeblanket statements aboutracelike"Blacksaregood" or "Blacksare bad" whichthe public blindlyacceptsas and incorporates intoitspolicypreferences. This is truth in contrast to other areasofcoverage suchas theeconomy, moredirect where mediamessages arefar ("The economy In thosecases, continues to showsignsof sluggishness"). it is easyto portray media influence in a simpleway:the thepeoplebelieve it.Race,as usual, mediasaysomething; presents a morecomplexscenario. The types ofmessages thatinfluence publicopinionare messages thatresonate withvalues to which most Americanssubscribe.The the question,then,becomes one of emphasis,whether media tendto emphasize one corevalue or another. The choicesare subtle,but theirimpactsubstantial, at least withrespect to publicopinion. Perhaps the most significant contributionof this to explain both liberal as well as analysisis the effort in racialpolicypreferences. conservative shifts Insteadof limiting the focusto whyAmericans havebecome more liberal(or moreconservative) on race,I haveprovideda in either framework thatcan explainmovements direcin this:The combinedretion.And yetthere is an irony sults of Tables 3 and 4 presenta scenario in which a strongeconomy fuelsliberal impulses,which lead to backlash. moreliberalpolicies,and hencea conservative It is possible that this cyclewill be self-perpetuating, but towardmore leadingnot towarda finalresolution, iterations of thecycle. At This research leavesmanyquestionsunanswered. the aggregate uncoverlevel,severaltasksremain.First, betweenracial policy preferences ing the relationship and the more generalpolicymood overtimeis an imSuch analysesmay shed lighton portantundertaking. in themindsof thepublicbetweentwo therelationship prominentissue domains-race and the New Deal. These analysestouch upon the relationship, but do not makeit themain focus. A second challenge at theaggregate levelof analysis events-a is to investigate theextent to whichreal-world conceptthatis not put to much use in theseanalysesracialpolicypreferences. That taskis particularly affect movebecause the eventsof the civilrights important, of race. mentoccupya largeplace in America's memory It is natural, therefore, to suspectthatpolicypreferences are shaped by such events, Of course,it is possiblethat

bythe havebeen captured oftheseevents thetrueeffects reBut only further media variablesin this analysis.22 This chalsearchcan answerthisquestiondefinitively. reason:thecodingof lengeis also a largeone foranother willnotproveto be easy(see McAdam 1982). rawevents code the howwould an analyst To takea simpleexample, these events of theurbanriotsof the 1960s?Presumably, more require but they are not insurmountable, obstacles workwill thanis possiblehere.Perhapsfurther attention reachedin thisanalysis. altersome oftheconclusions

A New Dilemma? American


Dilemma(1944), set AnAmerican famous work, Myrdal's speaking,for the civil rights the stage, intellectually movementthatwas to begin a decade or so later.His social served as thebackdrop fortheforthcoming treatise filtered down to thelevelofthe and it clearly movement, chasmexisted was thata great populardebate.His thesis betweenAmerica'segalitarianrhetoricand America's treatment of blacks.On the one clearlynonegalitarian withand proud werefamiliar hand,almostall Americans whichare embodofthecountry's principles, egalitarian politicalheof America's ied in thewordsand writings thatall roes. "We hold these truthsto be self-evident, theDeclarationof Inmen are created equal,"proclaims dependence. thatblackswerenot was thefact Equallyself-evident considered a partof"all men"in the"all men are created equal" clause. WhiteAmericansspoke the language of as anyonedid,and theseprinciples as eloquently equality sincerely. Myrdaldid not wereforthemostpartuttered weresimply not thought doubtthis.Buttheseprinciples when to extendto blacks.Myrdalwas not exaggerating to subscribe to theabhe arguedthatit was hypocritical notionthatall menarecreated stract equal,butdenythat blacks were a part of the equation. This was Myrdal's theprobAmerican Dilemma,and no one had identified he did. lem quiteso clearly before But as thisAmericanDilemma has faded into the past,a new AmericanDilemma has emergedto replace the old. Should Americansocietyendorsepolicies that of thepast,or to compensatefortheinjustices attempt do such policies createproblemsbiggerthan the ones in effect, to solve?Shouldsociety, giverepathey purport or should societytell its rationsto its black members,
associproblems methodological vexing 22There areparticularly events forreal-world as proxies atedwithusingmediameasures reported theanalyses 2000).Theseissuesdon'taffect (seeWoolley realis notto use themediato measure becausemyintent here, mediaframing. butto usethemediato measure world events,

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black membersto make it on theirown? When faced willreflect on the mostindividuals withsuch a decision, withtheir core optionsand picktheone mostconsistent is so vexwhythissituation values.And thatis precisely corevalues-egaliing.Forin thiscase,one ofAmerica's policies,but activist government tarianism-prescribes another-individualism-forbids it. This is the new Dilemma. American DiA critical betweentheold American distinction lemma and the new is that the lines of division have was dividedintotwogroupsof America changed. Before, blacksdeservedthe full people,some of whom thought benefits of American citizenship,others of whom inferior beings.Tothatblackswereinherently thought day, the fault lines are not between individuals,but criesout for withinthem.One partof mostAmericans compensatory justice,the beliefthatour societymust of thepast;therefore, thewrongs atoneforitssins,right But another partobjects, mustbe involved. government (but no less central)core societal drawingon different between blacks valuethatsaysthatonce thelegalbarriers and whiteshavebeen eliminated, oughtto government stayout of the pictureand let individualsof any color competeforsociety'sriches.Americanow has trouble bemaking up itsmindon whatto do about racelargely their most cause individualshave difficulty makingup mindson whatto do about race. submitted October 20, 1998. Manuscript Final manuscript received 22, 1999. September

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Appendix Items ofRacial Policy Survey UsedinIndex Preferences


Survey Org. NES N 4 Itemwording As youmayknow, Congress passeda billthatsaysthat blackpeopleshouldhavetheright to go to anyhotelor restaurant they can afford, justlikeanyone else.Somepeoplefeel that thisis something thegovernment inWashington feel thegovernment shouldsupport. Others that shouldstay out of thismatter. Haveyoubeeninterested enough in thisto favor one sideoveranother? [Ifyes]Should thegovernment support theright ofblackpeopleto go to anyhotel orrestaurant they can afford, or shoulditstay outofthis matter? ... [Would you]liketo seethegovernment do more, less, ordo aboutthesameamount as they have beenon ... Helping minority groups? In general, do youfavor or opposethebusing of(Negro/black) andwhite children from one district to another? Nowletmereadyousomestatements aboutaffirmative actions programs ineducation andemployment. Foreach, to tellmeifyoutendto agree ordisagree. After years ofdiscrimination, itis only fair setup specialprograms to makesurethatwomenand minorities are givenevery chanceto have in employment equal opportunities and education. Do youfavor or opposefederal lawsrequiring affirmative action programs for womenand minoritiesin employment, there areno rigid provided quotas? Do youthink the enough?
_

Trendex NORC/GSS Harris

45 15 3

Harris Gallup NORC/GSS

9 23 11

racialintegration too fast, or notfast Administration is pushing

Somethink that(blacks/Negroes) forso longthat has havebeendiscriminated against government shouldnotbe a special to improve their standards. Others believe that obligation living government on this giving special treatment. Where wouldyouplaceyourself scale? to improve Somepeoplefeel thegovernment inWashington shouldmakeevery effort that possible that thegovernthesocialandeconomic ofNegroes andother Others feel position minority groups. ment to helpthemshouldnotmakeanyeffort to helpminorities becausethey shouldbe expected Where selves. wouldyouplaceyourself on thisscale? Thereis muchdiscussion that aboutthebestwayto dealwithracialproblems. Some peoplethink racialintegration that itjustifies children to schools out ofschools is so important achieving busing oftheir ownneighborhoods. Others think that children schoolsis letting go to their neighborhood so important Where on thisscale? that wouldyouplaceyourself they opposebusing. IfNegroes arenotgetting in jobs and housing, thegovernment shouldsee to itthat fair treatment do. (Agree/Disagree) they ifNegroes injobs thegovernment inWashington Somefeel that arenotgetting fair treatment ought Haveyouhad to see to itthat do. Others feel thisis notthefederal business. that they government's interest in thisto favor one sideor theother? Shouldthegovernenough [Ifyes]How do youfeel? in jobs or is thisnotthefederal mentin Washington see to itthatblackpeoplegetfair treatment government's business?
. ..

NES

10

NES

NES NES

3 3

NORC/GSS l
{

20

Arewe spending too much, toolittle, or abouttheright amount on . .. improving theconditions bLacks? |of on next page) : ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(continu

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260

PAUL M. KELLSTEDT

NORC/GSS CBS-NYT NORC/GSS

11 14 13

Arewe spending too much, toolittle, or abouttheright amount on ... assistance toblacks? in thepast, Do youbelieve that where there hasbeenjob discrimination against blacks preference in hiring orpromotion shouldbe given to blacks today? Supposethere is a community-wide voteon thegeneral housing issue. There aretwopossible lawsto voteon.Which wouldyouvotefor? One lawsays that a homeowner candecidefor himself whomto sellhishouseto evenifhe prefers notto sellto (Negroes/blacks). The secondlawsaysthat a homeowner to sellto someone cannot refuse becauseoftheir raceor color. Ifyouhad a sayin making up thefederal budget this year, for which programs wouldyouliketo see spending increased and for which wouldyouliketo see spending decreased? Shouldfederal spendingon programs that assist blacks be increased, decreased, orkept aboutthesame? SomepeoplesaythatNegroes wantto.How do shouldbe allowed to livein anypartoftownthey be allowed to livein anypartoftown wantto or not? youfeel? ShouldNegroes they I'm going thegovernto showyoua listofproblems, and I'd likeyouto tellme ifeachis something mentshouldbe making a majoreffort on now,or something thegovernment shouldbe making someeffort on now,or something effort now... Trying to notneeding anyparticular government solvetheproblems causedbyghettos, race, and poverty? Somepeoplesaythat thegovernment inWashington and Negrochildren shouldseeto itthat white areallowed to go to thesameschools. claimthat thisis notthegovernment's business. Have Others to favor youbeenconcerned enoughaboutthisquestion one sideovertheother? [Ifyes]Do you think in Washington thegovernment shouldsee to itthat white and blackchildren go to thesame of this or out as it is not its business? schools, stay area,

NES

NES Roper

5 14

NES

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