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Ignored Racism
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Book description

Although Latinos are now the largest non-majority group in the United States, existing research on white attitudes toward Latinos has focused almost exclusively on attitudes toward immigration. This book changes that. It argues that such accounts fundamentally underestimate the political power of whites' animus toward Latinos and thus miss how conflict extends well beyond immigration to issues such as voting rights, criminal punishment, policing, and which candidates to support. Providing historical and cultural context and drawing on rich survey and experimental evidence, the authors show that Latino racism-ethnicism is a coherent belief system about Latinos that is conceptually and empirically distinct from other forms of out-group hostility, and from partisanship and ideology. Moreover, animus toward Latinos has become a powerful force in contemporary American politics, shaping white public opinion in elections and across a number of important issue areas - and resulting in policies that harm Latinos disproportionately.


'Ramirez and Peterson have given me a lot to think about. There was a time we all assumed that anti-Latino sentiment was a shadow of the much more virulent anti-black racism but could be understood and studied on the same terms. These authors suggest that we need to reconceptualize anti-Latino biases and their policy implications as a distinct phenomenon, rooted in and exacerbated by the historical development of the population and the institutions created to disadvantage them. This work - its conclusions, and its implications - is a must-read for anyone seriously trying to grapple with understanding how, in 2020, 10,000 children can be locked in cages with the tacit approval of the majority of the American people.'

Gary M. Segura - Professor and Dean, University of California, Los Angeles

'For too long, even as the Latino population has grown significantly in the US, social science research on race and ethnic attitudes has been without a careful, comprehensive, and valid measure of contemporary White attitudes toward Latinos. Ramirez and Peterson’s research closes this gap, helping us more fully understand the social, economic, and political consequences of how Whites perceive Latinos.'

Ashley Jardina - Assistant Professor of Political Science, Duke University

'In this book, Ramirez and Peterson address an exceedingly important subject. The authors provide historical context and show how animus toward Latinos matters for political attitudes and political behavior today. They also introduce new measures that other scholars are sure to use in future work. Theoretically grounded and empirically convincing, Ignored Racism is a must-read.'

Brad Jones - Professor of Political Science, University of California, Davis

‘There is no question that based on the analyses of survey data presented in Ignored Racism, as well as the results of the several original experimental analyses presented in the book, Ramirez and Peterson have made a strong case for the importance of their measure of LRE, and we believe that this measure needs to be taken seriously.’

Source: Critical Dialogue

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