inter-group relations

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“Attribute Affinity: U.S. Natives’ Attitudes Toward Immigrants.” With A. Berinsky, T. Rizzo & E. Heaps. Political Behavior (2018). Replication materials.

We examine the extent to which relevant social identity traits shared between two individuals—what we term “attribute affinity”—can moderate out-group hostility. We argue that in-group affinity is a powerful force in shaping preferences over potential immigrants. We focus on two closely related, yet distinct, dimensions of identity: religion and religiosity. Using evidence from three surveys that included two embedded experiments, we show that sharing strength in religious practice can diminish strong aversion to immigrants of different religious affiliations. We find that, among highly religious U.S. natives, anti-Muslim bias is lower toward very religious Muslims, compared to non-religious Muslims. This attenuating effect of attribute affinity with respect to religiosity on anti-Muslim bias presents the strongest evidence supporting our argument.


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“Team and Nation: How Sports Games Affect National and Pan-African Identification in Kenya and Tanzania” With Y.Y. Zhou. In Progress.

How does a national sports team’s victory, affect citizens’ national identification and attitudes and behaviors towards out-groups, foreign and domestic? Recent research reveals that national sports team wins lead to greater national identification and increased trust between ethnic groups. While an enhanced affinity for the nation might help reduce out-group animosity, it is likely limited to nationally-bounded out-groups. It is an open question what type of nationalism (inclusive or exclusionary) is activated and how this increased identification might influence attitudes toward non-nationals. We test this idea with a natural experiment coupled with a survey experiment conducted using an online panel around the 2019 Africa Cup football team match between two neighbors and rivals in East Africa, Kenya and Tanzania. We examine how a national sports victory changes types of identification (national, pan-African, East African, ethnic) and how this affects attitudes toward different out-groups that extend beyond national borders including, citizens from the country of the rival team, immigrants, and refugees. We also analyze the effects of a national team loss on these same outcomes.