International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
Despite the promises of the Civil Rights Movement last century, African Americans continue to experience less socioeconomic success than their White peers. Research has found that explanations for this racial gap differ by race, with Whites more likely to adhere to individualistic explanations and African Americans more likely to agree with structural causes. We use color-blind racism, standpoint theory, and a presidential administration timeline to frame an examination of three decades (1985-2016) of General Social Survey data on explanations for racial differences. We find that among all Americans regardless of race, agreement with both person-blame and system-blame explanations has declined over time. We also find that the gap between African Americans and Whites in agreement with these explanations is closing over time, including trends that suggest African Americans may now be more supportive of some person-blame explanations for racial disparities than are Whites.
Brown, Angela M., Daniel N. Hawkins, and Alecia D. Anderson. 2020. “Americans’ Explanations for Racial Disparities across Three Decades (1985- 2016): Are the Views of African Americans and Whites Converging?” International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies 16: 89-106.