Us Against Them: Ethnocentric Foundations of American Opinion

Paperback | January 2, 2010

byDonald R. Kinder, Cindy D. Kam

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Ethnocentrism—our tendency to partition the human world into in-groups and out-groups—pervades societies around the world. Surprisingly, though, few scholars have explored its role in political life. Donald Kinder and Cindy Kam fill this gap with Us Against Them, their definitive explanation of how ethnocentrism shapes American public opinion.        

Arguing that humans are broadly predisposed to ethnocentrism, Kinder and Kam explore its impact on our attitudes toward an array of issues, including the war on terror, humanitarian assistance, immigration, the sanctity of marriage, and the reform of social programs. The authors ground their study in previous theories from a wide range of disciplines, establishing a new framework for understanding what ethnocentrism is and how it becomes politically consequential. They also marshal a vast trove of survey evidence to identify the conditions under which ethnocentrism shapes public opinion.  While ethnocentrism is widespread in the United States, the authors demonstrate that its political relevance depends on circumstance.  Exploring the implications of these findings for political knowledge, cosmopolitanism, and societies outside the United States, Kinder and Kam add a new dimension to our understanding of how democracy functions.

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Ethnocentrism—our tendency to partition the human world into in-groups and out-groups—pervades societies around the world. Surprisingly, though, few scholars have explored its role in political life. Donald Kinder and Cindy Kam fill this gap with Us Against Them, their definitive explanation of how ethnocentrism shapes American public ...

Donald R. Kinder is the Philip E. Converse Collegiate Professor in the Department of Political Science and professor of psychology and research professor in the Center for Political Studies of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Cindy D. Kam is associate professor of political science at Vanderbilt Universi...

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Kobo ebook|Oct 15 2010

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:January 2, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226435717

ISBN - 13:9780226435718

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Table of Contents

Preface    

Introduction:  Sumner’s Conjecture    

I. The Nature of Ethnocentrism    

1.  Four Theories in Search of Ethnocentrism    

2.  Ethnocentrism Reconceived     

3.  American Ethnocentrism Today    

II. Empirical Cases   

4.  Enemies Abroad    

5.  America First    

6.  Strangers in the Land    

7.  Straight versus Gay    

8.  Women’s Place    

9.  Us versus Them in the American Welfare State    

10.  Ethnocentrism in Black and White    

Conclusion:  Ethnocentrism and Political Life    

Appendix    

Notes    

References    

Index