Willing but Unable: Reassessing the Relationship between Racial Group Consciousness and Black Political Participation

Jasmine Carrera Smith, J. A.R.E.D. Clemons, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Miguel Martinez, Leann Mclaren, Ismail K. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In this article, we offer a framework for understanding the role that racial group consciousness (RGC) plays in influencing Black Americans' engagement in costly political action. Attempting to add clarity to decades of inconsistent and at times contradictory findings, we argue that the effect of RGC at inspiring political action among Black Americans is conditional on (1) the relevance of the political activity to achieving a well-recognized racial group outcome and (2) individual capacity to assume the cost of engaging in the activity. Analyzing data from the ANES and two behavioral experiments, we find that RGC exhibits a consistently strong relationship with engagement in low-cost political behavior, regardless of whether the behavior has some explicit group-relevant outcome. When engagement becomes more costly, however, Blacks high in RGC are only willing to assume these costs if the engagement has some clear potential for racial group benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Willing but Unable: Reassessing the Relationship between Racial Group Consciousness and Black Political Participation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this