Question of the Month

Neoliberalism and black politics?

Has neoliberal ideology among black elites narrowed our conceptions of what’s possible in black politics as well as our focus on means to electoral politics & lobbying? If so, is this a good or bad development for blacks’ quest for social justice?

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The 2000-2005 Bobo/Dawson Racial Politics Studies

These six public opinion studies were conducted either jointly or individually by Lawrence D. Bobo (Harvard University) and Michael C. Dawson (Harvard University and The University of Chicago), with the exception of the 2005 Katrina study, conducted by Michael Dawson, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, and Cathy Cohen. All studies were administered by Knowledge Networks. Collectively they represent one of the most complete sets of data on racial attitudes in the first half of the decade.

Several studies have been completed and published based on these data, including book projects by both Dawson and Bobo. The 2000 studies focus on race and electoral dynamics, evaluations of the Clinton presidency, and also include instrumentation on other aspects of racial politics such as reparations and crime. The 2001 and 2002 studies focus tightly on race and crime. The 2003 study expands the instrumentation on reparations support, as do the 2004 and 2005 studies, but also focuses some on the war in Iraq (the military engagement begins while the study is in the field). The 2004 study introduces instrumentation that is centered on race and civil society, while the 2005 study was done as a direct response to the Katrina disaster and also includes an oversample of youth.

The one consistent theme that can be gleaned from analysis of the data across all studies is the continuing, profoundly deep and bitter chasm between black and white opinion across a wide range of political issues and evaluations of individuals, organizations, and American society.

Available for Download

(Data is provided in Stata format. More information on each study can be found in the documentation.)

The 2005 Katrina, Race & Politics Study

Total sample of 1,242 respondents (703 white, non-Hispanic; 487 black, non-Hispanic; 10 “other,” non-Hispanic; and 52 Hispanic). Fielded October 28–November 17, 2005. (Principal Investigators: Michael Dawson, The University of Chicago; Melissa Harris-Lacewell, The University of Chicago; Cathy Cohen, The University of Chicago)

Download: 2005 Data | 2005 Documentation

The 2004 Racial Attitudes Study

Total sample of 1,079 respondents (530 white, non-Hispanic and 549 black, non-Hispanic). Fielded October 1–18, 2004. (Principal Investigator: Michael Dawson, Harvard University)

Download: 2004 Data | 2004 Documentation

The 2003 Pre-War Racial Differences Study

Total sample of 1,102 respondents (636 white, non-Hispanic and 466 black, non-Hispanic). Fielded March 13–28, 2003. (Principal Investigator: Michael Dawson, Harvard University)

Download: 2003 Data | 2003 Documentation

Not Yet Available for Download

Race and Crime Study II
Total sample of 2,387 respondents (1,200 white, non-Hispanic and 1,187 black, non-Hispanic). Fielded October 2002. (Principal Investigator: Lawrence Bobo, Harvard University)

Race and Crime Study I
Total sample of 1,988 respondents (978 white, non-Hispanic and 1,010 black, non-Hispanic). Wave 1 fielded June 2001; Wave 2 fielded August 2001. (Principal Investigator: Lawrence Bobo, Harvard University)

The Du Bois Institute of Harvard University and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, 2000 Pre-Election and Post-Election Study
This was a two part study. The pre-election survey sampled 831 blacks and was fielded in October 2000. The post-election survey includes a total sample of 1,604 respondents (767 whites and 837 blacks) was fielded December 1–15, 2000. (Principal Investigators: Lawrence Bobo, Harvard University; Michael Dawson, The University of Chicago)