Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

1995

Abstract

The 1980s was a period when Blacks experienced setbacks and reversals in various areas of social life. Did the setbacks cause Blacks to turn away from whites? This is the question that is addressed in this study of the racial attitudes of Black college students. The purpose of this research is to describe the attitudes of Black students toward Whites during the Reagan era and compare their attitudes with the attitudes of the general Black population. To provide a background to interpret our findings, we will review the major political and economic events of the 1980s or the Reagan years.

This is a longitudinal study of the racial views and attitudes of 739 African-American students who attended Souther Illinois University--Carbondatle (SIU) in the 1980s. The students completec a questionnaire that elicited their social views and attitudes. The purpose of this study was to examine and describe the racial attitudes of Black students in the 1980s. Their racial attitudes were measured in terms of responses to social distance questions concerning their willingness to take part in various social settings involving contact with Whites. A major air of this research is to describe and explore the relationship between the effects of Reaganism and Blacks' attitudes toward Whites.

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