Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
Prior research on social distance between racial or ethnic groups in the United States has focused mainly on attitudes of white Americans toward African Americans. Extending previous research, this study analyzes social distances of whites to racial or ethnic minority groups by investigating how whites feel about blacks, Asians, and Hispanics. The main hypothesis is that whites feel coolest toward blacks, warmest toward Asians, and somewhat in between toward Hispanics. The 2002 General Social Survey and ordinary least squares regression are used to test the hypothesis. The results indicate that contrary to our hypothesis, whites feel coolest toward Asians, warmest toward Hispanics, and somewhat in between toward blacks. Nativity, religious similarity/ dissimilarity, racial hierarchy and tension, proximity of the country of origin, and group diversity may offer plausible explanations for the unexpected result. This study also examines which types of whites are more likely to maintain a greater or smaller social distance with the three minority groups. Implications of the findings for race and ethnic relations today are addressed.
Copyright ©ESR, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 2011