Authors: Stephen L. Klineberg and David A. Kravitz

Title: Ethnic differences in the predictors of support for municipal affirmative action contracting

Source: Social Sciences Quarterly, 84, 425-440. 2003.

Objective. This study explores attitudes toward municipal affirmative action contracting among Anglos, African Americans, and Hispanics, testing predictors of support separately for each group and measuring changes over time. Methods. In five successive annual Houston-area surveys, U.S.-born Anglos, blacks, Hispanics, and Hispanic immigrants evaluated a strong version of the city’s affirmative action contracting program. Results. Ethnic contrasts in support were partly mediated by differences on the predictors. The predictors of affirmative action attitudes varied greatly by ethnic group. Changes in support across the five years appeared to be associated with the 1997 campaign surrounding the effort to end the city’s affirmative action program, and with subsequent policy modifications. Conclusions. The ethnic divisions and the recent increases among all groups in support for the city’s program underscore the value of crafting carefully targeted and flexible policies that are perceived to be responding only to documented disadvantage.

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