ERIC Number: ED240040
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov-20
Reference Count: 0
Cohort Changes in Attitudes about Race Relations.
Cutler, Stephen J.
Recent studies suggest that in times of growing liberalism in public opinion, social and political attitudes in all age cohorts become more tolerant. Such studies have challenged the long standing assumptions that social and political attitudes become more conservative as people age. To extend the research on this subject, a study was conducted to determine whether, in this present period of liberal and tolerant racial attitudes, the perspectives on race relations held by older adults have also become more liberal. Data were taken from seven surveys of noninstitutionalized older adults in the continental United States conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago between 1963 and 1982. Five questions administered to all white respondents measured attitudes towards school and neighborhood desegregation, interracial marriage, and interracial socializing. Results further undermine the aging-attitudinal rigidity hypothesis. Liberal shifts equal to those found among younger cohorts existed in all elderly cohorts surveyed. Research documenting attitude change among older persons should begin to counter stereotypes of the elderly as dogmatic, rigid people. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983).