Political and Racial Tolerance

Political Science 491-005, Spring 2003, TR 9:30 am - 10:45 am, POT 110 

Professor Mark Peffley, POT 1653

Office Hours:  TR 1-2, Phone:  257-7033, e-mail: mpeffl@uky.edu

Website: http://www.uky.edu/AS/PoliSci/facultad.htm





       Several texts are assigned for this course, all of which are available at the university bookstores (University and Kennedy's).

·         Martin Gilens. Why Americans Hate Welfare: Race, Media, and the Politics of Antipoverty Policy. University of Chicago Press. 2000.

·         Robert M. Entman, Andrew Rojecki, Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America, University of Chicago Press, 2000.

·         Donald Kinder and Lynn Sanders, Divided by Color: Racial Politics and Democratic Ideals, University of Chicago Press, 1997.


·         In addition, students are required to read several articles from political science journals, most of which are available through JSTOR using a university computer and can be either printed  there or downloaded for viewing with Acrobat Reader. The syllabus on the internet contains a link to instructions on how to use JSTOR (for locating and printing articles) and Acrobat Reader (for viewing files).    




1.   Participation

       The course will be run as a discussion seminar, meaning that students are expected to have read and considered the course readings in preparation for each class.  Students are also expected to participate in class discussions and to be ready to do so on the subject of the day.

       Our class time will not be spent simply "going over" the assigned readings.  Rather, the readings will serve as a foundation and point of  departure for lectures and discussions.  It is, therefore, imperative that  students complete the assigned readings before a particular topic is taken up in class.  Also, the assigned readings should not be viewed as absolute truth.  Read the material thoughtfully, challenge the conclusions of the authors, and voice your criticisms in class.

       Students should feel free to raise questions concerning the readings, the lectures, and the comments of other students.  In other words, meaningful participation is strongly encouraged and will, no doubt, enhance the quality of our class sessions. 


2.     Written Assignments and Quizzes

       There will be several (2) short written assignments that require very little outside reading beyond that which has been assigned.  These short (4 page) papers are designed to help students organize and think more reflectively about the material in the course, and to apply many of the issues we discuss in class to the "real world." The written assignments cannot be turned in late, except for university excused absences. Also, because the readings are an important basis for class discussions, several short quizzes over the assigned readings may be administered.


3.     Examinations and Grades


       Grades will be based on the following criteria:


               Midterm                               35% of Grade

               Final Exam                           40% of Grade

               Written Assignments             15% of Grade

               Participation                         10% of Grade


       Note:  If a student has a university-excused absence, arrangements for a make-up exam may be made.  (See Section 2.4.2, Part II of the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook for a definition of university-excused absences.)  Note, however, that the format of a make-up will not be the same as the regular exam. 


Topics and Readings for Political and Racial Tolerance
(Understanding Your Professors)
Class Picture


I. Introduction (first class)


Political Tolerance


II. Political Tolerance, Political Repression, and Democratic Theories:

·         What is political tolerance and how important is it for the health or viability of democracy?  (1 class)

·         How do citizens formulate opinions on political issues, in general, and what methods should be used to measure public opinion? (1 class)

·         How politically tolerant are Americans, both masses and elites, what are the roots of political intolerance, and what implications does this have for democratic government and democratic theories?  (1 class)

·         How do Americans compare with other countries and what does this tell us about the roots of intolerance? (1 class)

·         Hate Speech in Historical Perspective: How has hate speech been regulated in the past and to what extent should it be regulated now?  (1 class)


Read:  James L. Gibson, "Political Intolerance and Political Repression during the McCarthy Red Scare," American Political Science Review, 82(2) (June 1988): 511-530.  (JSTOR), Economy File

John L. Sullivan, et al. “The Sources of Political Tolerance: A Multivariate Analysis,American Political Science Review, Vol. 75, No. 1. (Mar., 1981), pp. 92-106. (JSTOR), skim.

John L. Sullivan, et al. “Why Politicians Are More Tolerant: Selective Recruitment and Socialization among Political Elites in Britain, Israel, New Zealand and the United States,” British Journal of Political Science, Vol. 23, No. 1. (Jan., 1993), pp. 51-76. (JSTOR)
Economy File


Lecture Outline I: Democratic Theories and Political Tolerance


Lecture Outline II: Empirical Evidence to Evaluate Democratic Theories


Anti-Gaye Hate Speech Web Sites

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)


Racial Tolerance


III.     Racial Polarization: How deep are the political divisions between whites and blacks and how have whites’ racial attitudes changed over the last 50 years or so?  (1 class)


Read: Kinder and Sanders, Divided by Color, Part I (chs 1-3)


Lecture Outline III: "Racial Attitudes"


Handout: "Trends in Racial Attitudes"


IV.     Perceptions versus Reality: The “Race Gap” in America (1 class)


Frontline Web-site: “The Two Nations of Black America”


V.       Racial Attitudes: Racial Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination, with brief comparisons to other forms of prejudice (1-2 weeks)


Read: Hurwitz & Peffley, Ch 2: Sniderman, et al., “Prejudice and Politics: An Intellectual Biography of a Research Project.”

Hurwitz & Peffley, Ch 3: Kuklinski and Cobb: “When White Southerners Converse About Race

Hurwitz & Peffley, Ch 5: Carmines and Layman, “When Prejudice Matters: The Impact of Racial Stereotypes on the Racial Policy Preferences of Democrats and Republicans”

Hurwitz & Peffley, Ch 8: Knight, “In Their Own Words: Citizens’ Explanations of Inequality between the Races,” (skim)


Take the Implicit Association Test (IAT), designed by social psychologists to measure implicit, hidden racial attitudes and biases

Experiencing prejudice: Steele, C. M. (1999, August). Thin ice: "Stereotype threat" and black college students. The Atlantic Monthly. 284(2), 44-47, 50-54.


VI.     Antecedents of Racial Policy Attitudes:  Are political divisions among whites and blacks driven more by prejudice (e.g., “racial resentment”), political principles, self-interest, or group conflict? (2 classes) 


Read: Kinder and Sanders, Divided by Color, Part II (chs 4-6)


Lecture Outline: Racial Attitudes 


Review Questions for Midterm Exam  




March 14: Last day to Withdraw


March 17-22:   SPRING BREAK!!


News Worth Watching! The Daily Show

Recommended Daily Show Clips:  (You must install Real Player to view the clips)

Ed Helms: Embed Helms

Jon Stewart: I on News - C-SPAN

Rob Corddry: Come On!

Jon Stewart: March Madness!

Stephen Colbert reports from the front...of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood

Stephen Colbert - In the Spirit of Spring Break

Steve Carell - Fair and Balanced

Steve Carell - Who's Your Baghdaddy


VII.  Racial Attitudes and Ostensibly “Race-Neutral” Welfare and Crime Policies


Read: Gilens, Why Americans Hate Welfare, entire.


Lecture Outline: Racial Stereotyping: Processes, Antecedents and Political Consequences


Review Questions for Gilens


VIII.  Racial Appeals: How can politicians and the media frame racial issues to influence public opinion and voting behavior? 

Read: Kinder and Sanders, Divided by Color, Parts III-IV (chs 7-10)


IX.     Media Sources of Racial Attitudes: How do portrayals of blacks in news coverage, entertainment, films and commercials affect whites’ (and blacks’) views of African Americans and race relations in the U.S.? (2 weeks)


Read: Robert M. Entman, Andrew Rojecki , Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America, chs 2-5.

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., and Shanto Iyengar. 2000. “Prime Suspects: The Influence of Local Television News on the Viewing Public.”

Robert M. Entman, Andrew Rojecki , chs 9, 11, 12.


Review Questions for Final Exam


 Final Examination, FRIDAY, May 9, 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM