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.