NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ760221
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 26
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 66
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Group Threat and Social Control: Race, Perceptions of Minorities and the Desire to Punish
King, Ryan D.; Wheelock, Darren
Social Forces, v85 n3 p1255-1280 Mar 2007
This research examines the individual-level and contextual correlates of punitive attitudes in the United States. Prior research suggests that the demographic composition and economic conditions of geographic areas influence public support for punitive policies. Yet, these findings rest on assumptions about individual perceptions of minority groups as threatening. This work builds on the threat framework by measuring the concept of "perceived threat" and examining the association between aggregate social conditions, perceived threat and punitive sentiments. Analysis of newly collected data suggests that individual perceptions of African Americans as threatening to economic resources is a strong predictor of punitive attitudes. In addition, respondents residing in areas with higher unemployment rates and places that experienced a recent increase in the size of the African American population are more punitive. The latter effect is largely mediated by perceptions of African Americans as threatening to material resources for white respondents. The results agree with racial threat perspectives on social control, but we go beyond extant research by unpacking the micro-level processes that are central to the threat hypothesis. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures and 21 notes.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States