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At the Borders of Identity: Identity Construction and Racial Bloc Voting

Harris, A; (2020) At the Borders of Identity: Identity Construction and Racial Bloc Voting. Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics , 5 (2) pp. 326-355. 10.1017/rep.2019.35. Green open access

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Abstract

Why are some voters less likely to align with their group when group-based voting is both the norm and advantageous? I argue that the answer to this question can be found in the extent to which individuals are apparently consistent with the prototypical individual in their group. I develop a concept of racial distance, which improves upon the in-group out-group focus of the race and ethnic politics literature. Empirically, I investigate this relationship in South Africa using an original panel survey, which brackets the 2014 national elections. I find that those who are not readily identified as members of their group are less likely to vote with their group and more likely to change their vote due to an election campaign. Analyzing data from the South Africa 2016 the US 2012 elections suggests that this relationship holds for racial majorities but only minorities with a relatively weak sense of solidarity.

Type: Article
Title: At the Borders of Identity: Identity Construction and Racial Bloc Voting
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/rep.2019.35
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/rep.2019.35
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081571
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