Identities and Attitudes

Various human traits — including skin color, language, religion, or ancestry — may contribute to a sense of “diversity” within and across societies. Yet, the link from traits to the formation of ethnic and racial identities is a social and political process. Many of our lab members explore the formation of identities and related attitudes about belonging and other policies in the context of diversity around the globe.

Current projects

Along with co-author Andrew Miller, Evan Lieberman is studying whether online newspapers promote or undermine nation-building in divided societies. Editorial decisions to reference specific, subnational ethnic groups can serve as consequential reminders of relevant social categories. Using evidence from Africa, the authors find that the use of some ethnic categories in headlines is associated with a significant increase in the probability of at least one reader making an ethnic-based comment.

Published work

Christia, Fotini, Dekeyser, Elizabeth, and Knox, Dean. Forthcoming. “Religious Practice and Political Attitudes among Shiʿites in Iran and Iraq,” forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies, eds. Melani Cammett and Pauline Jones, Oxford University Press.

Gay, Claudine, Jennifer Hochschild, and Ariel White. 2016. “Americans’ Belief in Linked Fate: Does the Measure Capture the Concept?”.  Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics 1 (1) : 117-144.

Charnysh, Volha, Lucas, Christopher, and Singh, Prerna. 2015. “The Ties that Bind: National Identity Salience and Pro-Social Behavior.” Comparative Political Studies 48 (3): 267-300.

Lieberman, Evan and McClendon, Gwyneth. 2013. “The Ethnicity-Policy Preference Link in sub-Saharan Africa.” Comparative Political Studies 46 (5): 574-602.

Lieberman, Evan, and Singh, Prerna. 2012. “Conceptualizing and Measuring Ethnic Politics: An Institutional Complement to Demographic, Behavioral, and Cognitive Approaches.Studies in Comparative International Development (v47, n2): 255-86.

Nobles, Melissa. 2005. “The Myth of Latin American Multiracialism,” Daedalus, 82-87.

Nobles, Melissa. 2002. “Lessons from Brazil: The Ideational and Political Dimensions of Multiraciality,” in The New Race Question: How the Census Counts Multiracial Individuals, ed. Joel Perlmann and Mary Waters. Russell Sage Foundation press.

Nobles, Melissa. 2000. Shades of Citizenship: Race and the Census in Modern PoliticsStanford University Press.