AuthorBranton, Regina Paunee
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn this dissertation, I explore the political implications of racial and ethnic diversity. Unlike previous research, this study seeks to provide a more inclusive examination of race and ethnicity. More specifically, the analysis of this dissertation encompasses multiple racial and ethnic groups, including whites, blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asian Americans. The focus of the examination centers on the impact of racial and ethnic diversity on individual-level attitudes and congressional election outcomes. The specific questions posed herein revolve around the issues of when and how racial and ethnic diversity impacts American politics. The findings produced in this study not only indicate that diversity is related to attitudes and electoral outcomes, but also suggests the nature of the relationship is complex. The analysis indicates that individual-level attitudes vary across racial and ethnic groups. Indeed, attitudes across minority groups are more similar than when compared to the majority. Additionally, the findings suggest that the impact of racial and ethnic diversity varies across racial and ethnic groups. When considered concurrently, this portion of the dissertation suggests that the impact of diversity on attitudes is complex. The second portion of the dissertation examines the electoral implications of racial and ethnic diversity. The analysis indicates as diversity increases electoral volatility increases. In fact, the findings suggest that increased diversity is associated with an increased risk of incumbent turnover and electoral competition. Further, the examination indicates the increased volatility associated with higher levels of diversity increases the likelihood that quality challengers will emerge to oppose the incumbent candidate. The findings presented in this dissertation offer valuable insight to the role of racial and ethnic groups in the American political system. This information serves not only as a stepping stone for future research, but is also suggestive of implications for individual-actors involved in the political system. Future research must extend previous work to provide a more inclusive and systematic analysis of the implications of racial and ethnic diversity. Finally, politicians may find the results useful in their attempts to represent constituents and seek election (and re-election).
Degree ProgramGraduate College