Senior Theses

Publication Date

Spring 5-26-2022

Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Faculty Advisor(s)

Amy Orr

Subject Categories

Race and Ethnicity

Abstract

Recent literature has brought attention to an avoidance of race-talk among Whites that not only attributes social inequalities to non-racial factors, but challenges the existence of racism at all, and reinforces the power of white supremacy in a way that is hard to detect. The paradigm shift from Jim Crow to colorblind racism simply demonstrates a practice of oppression that has been redefined and reshaped, but the foundation of our society that has been built on white supremacy and racial inequality has yet to change. In order to preserve this foundation, colorblind ideology has been used to implement coded language and race-neutral explanations in policy, reinforcing the existing racial hierarchy in a powerful, but discreet, manner. This study utilizes survey data to analyze the relationship between colorblind attitudes and policy preference. It is hypothesized that 1) higher levels of colorblindness will lead to less support for social policies that would benefit racial and ethnic minorities, and 2) Whites will present higher levels of colorblind attitudes than non-Whites. Results from an online survey indicate that Hypothesis 2 was not supported (Whites and non-Whites show similar levels of colorblindness), while Hypothesis 1 was supported (colorblindness and policy preference are significantly correlated). The study ultimately finds that, as levels of colorblindness increase, support for social policy that would benefit racial and ethnic minorities decreases, suggesting that racial considerations still serve as an influence in social policy despite how subtle they may seem.

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