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Racial Attitudes and Actions Survey, 2006 Charlotte Kunkel, PhD and Carissa Sojka, Research Assistant Luther College.

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Presentation on theme: "Racial Attitudes and Actions Survey, 2006 Charlotte Kunkel, PhD and Carissa Sojka, Research Assistant Luther College."— Presentation transcript:


2 Racial Attitudes and Actions Survey, 2006 Charlotte Kunkel, PhD and Carissa Sojka, Research Assistant Luther College

3 Goals of Survey Measure change in attitudes over time -Last survey completed in 1990 Capture actions as well as attitudes Measure attitudes about immigration

4 The Survey Questions replicated from 1990 survey -Old style, retained for comparison Questions included from National race survey -Bonilla-Silva, leading sociologist on racial attitudes Questions included from MN immigration survey -2004 MN Community Project Final version 8 pages, 120 questions

5 Olmsted County Background –Changing landscape of population –Increasing numbers of peoples of color, including immigrants and refugees –East Africans –Eastern Europeans –Latinos

6 Sample Population Stratified Random Sample -Over-sampled target populations -Low tenure -Rural households

7 Distribution 2278 surveys were distributed by mail, addressed to any householder over 18 First mailing, postcard reminder, second mailing in late summer 2006 Eight bad addresses eliminated 343 surveys returned 15.1% response rate

8 Who is the Sample Population? Some basic demographics: - 94% of respondents were white -63% were women -74% were parents -98% had high school diplomas or higher educational level, 24% were educated beyond college or university -81% claimed to live in a city, 19% claimed to be rural -65% lived in the county for 10 years or more -the median annual income was over $60,000 -the average respondent was 48.8 years old, 27% were over 60 years old

9 What did we find? The Good News: People were supportive of diversity “I think it’s a very positive thing.” “All races are welcome to enter the USA yes we must be concerned to care for all no matter what their races or creed.” “It is a wonderful development to have the increased opportunities to interact with people from other places.” “I would like to see more of an increase in the minority population. I feel that it is important to expose children to people of many nationalities and cultures.” “I think an increase in the minority population will make Olmsted County a better place to live. People will be familiar with others who are different from them and hopefully more open embracing other cultures.” “I think it is a positive.” “The community I live in needs more diversity! “I welcome it!” “I think diversity adds a great sense of culture to Rochester Olmsted County.” “Diversity is good. It is important for us to learn about other cultures and back grounds in today’s world. We need understanding.”

10 People believe things are improving. “Racism has become a lot better, but I feel it still exists. I don’t believe racism continues to be bad for groups who have been here for many years but is targeted at new minority groups people are not familiar with.” “Not as bad as I was growing up but it still exists. Now with every new race that comes to our country they are treated bad because they don’t adapt to the new society.” “On the whole, I think racism is declining. I see it especially (as a decline) in my children’s generations, but even among my generation it is much less than I remember growing up. I credit “tolerance” and “diversity” teaching in schools or a community for the significant decline.” “We have come a long distance, but as new racial groups enter our community there is a need for new communication and new understanding.”

11 Do Actions reflect diversity? 80% said NONE of 3 closest friends of another race 78% said NONE of 3 closest co-workers of another race 75% said NONE of 3 closest neighbors of another race 50% said daily interactions include NO ONE of another race

12 The NOT-so-Good News: Attitudes towards Blacks have declined Attitudes toward Somalis are more negative than toward Bosnians Attitudes toward Somalis are more negative than toward Blacks

13 People in the following groups are “naturally” more violent than whites:

14 Whites generally perform better in school because of natural abilities compared to:

15 People in the following groups tend to maintain their property as well as whites do:

16 People in the following groups tend to work for a living rather than live off welfare:

17 I think it is important to have goals or quotas for hiring and promoting people in the following groups:

18 I think it is OK for whites to go on social dates with people in the following groups:

19 I think it would be OK if a member of my family brought a member of the following groups home to dinner:

20 I think it is ok to marry members of the following groups:

21 Racial Progressive Index Do you support Affirmative Action? Do you support interracial marriage? Do you think institutional racism exists?

22 Immigration Progressive Index Agree: Immigrants are: -Contributing to cultural diversity -Hardworking, valuable contribution And strongly disagree with: Immigrants are: -Hurting quality of life by putting big demands on our public schools -Hurting quality of life by draining resources from whole community

23 Anti-Immigration Sentiment “Absolutely. The crime rate has increased since I moved to the twin cities in 97 and moved back to Rochester in 03. When you read the Olmsted County court records in the paper at least half if not more are not American names.” “I have seen what has happened on the East Coast specifically in the Washington DC metro area. Whole neighborhoods have become Hispanic. Shopping areas in formerly all whites’ areas have become little Latin Americans.” “If you come to America, please speak the language (English)! Before we know it, English will not be the native language anymore.” “Our health care is so expensive and many immigrants get free care at Olmsted County Public Health. My workplace has spent time and money to give English classes to those that can’t speak English, while the rest of us did not even receive a raise the last 2 years.” “The Somalis seem to have many problems within their community. They are affecting other community members not in a “positive way”.” “In certain areas, housing cost have gone down, crime has increased, violent crime seems to be in the media more, group fights seem to happen more, immigrant groups are involved, fighting in the high schools usually involve these groups.” “There are too many in welfare, and are draining the channel in food shelf down to almost nothing some months. Need to have special teachers to teach the children. Need to learn English and use it daily. Need to look for jobs and work them when they have a job. Just because they can make more on welfare than working is not right for it is taking away from people who can’t work for illness etc.”

24 Conclusions: Some people, a minority, value increasing diversity and see progress. The 2006 Attitudes and Actions Survey shows increased anti- Black sentiment since 1990 on 7/10 questions measuring old- fashioned racism. Increased racism is conflated with anti-Somali attitudes— attitudes that are not similar to the comparison immigrant group of Bosnians. Immigrant sentiment is mixed at best. Quantitative data show more immigrant progressives than racial progressives, however overwhelming majority of respondents are NOT-at-ALL progressive. Qualitative data suggest significant anti-immigrant sentiment. Anti-immigrant sentiment is socially acceptable and is racialized.

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