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A Comparative Analysis of Black Racial Group Consciousness in the United States and Britain

  • Ayobami Laniyonu (a1)


Extant scholarship on black politics has demonstrated the mobilizing effect that racial group consciousness can have on African American political participation. Few studies, however, test for or compare the political impact of group consciousness across national contexts. This paper presents an empirical comparison of group consciousness and its relationship with political behavior among black Americans and black Britons. Mobilizing two nationally representative surveys from the United States and Britain and a multi-dimensional measure of group consciousness, the findings presented here suggest that while elements of racial group consciousness are present among blacks in both societies, racial group consciousness is generally more prevalent and politically significant among blacks in the United States. For example, blacks in Britain are less likely to view blacks as occupying a fundamentally marginalized structural position and less likely to endorse race specific interventions that might address that marginalization. Results from regression analysis further suggest that while strong racial (rather than national) group attachment negatively affects the likelihood that blacks will vote in both countries, other elements of group consciousness are more strongly associated with participation among blacks in the United States than in Britain.


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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Ayobami Laniyonu, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto. E-mail:


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A Comparative Analysis of Black Racial Group Consciousness in the United States and Britain

  • Ayobami Laniyonu (a1)


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