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Intersectionality in Political Science: How Race/Ethnicity and Gender Affect Political Preferences Open Access

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This study investigates how race/ethnicity and gender affect political preferences using the intersectionality framework. I examine the simultaneous effect of race/ethnicity and gender in Washington, DC’s 2014 Mayoral Primary election and in national immigration attitudes. I use Washington Post data to show that black women were more supportive relative to black men of candidate Muriel Bowser over Mayor Vincent Gray. Ms. Bowser was sensitive to black women’s threat from marijuana decriminalization and gentrification, where Mayor Gray was not. I use an original experimental design to explore the size of the effect of threat on black men and black women’s attitudes towards gentrification. I find that immediate racial threat increases opposition more among black men, distant gender threat increases opposition in black women, and combined distant racial and gender threats have a stronger impact on opposition in black men relative to black women. And, I demonstrate that gender modifies racial/ethnic attitudes towards immigration with multiple datasets. These results challenge the notion that identities operate independently, an assumption which underlies standard statistical approaches.

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