Dangerous FramesHow Ideas about Race and Gender Shape Public Opinion

Dangerous FramesHow Ideas about Race and Gender Shape Public Opinion

Nicholas J. G. Winter

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226902364

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

In addition to their obvious roles in American politics, race and gender also work in hidden ways to influence profoundly the way we think—and vote—about a vast array of issues that don't seem related to either category. As this book reveals, politicians and leaders often frame these seemingly unrelated issues in ways that prime audiences to respond not to the policy at hand but instead to the way its presentation resonates with their deeply held beliefs about race and gender. The book shows, for example, how official rhetoric about welfare and Social Security has tapped into white Americans' racial biases to shape their opinions on both issues over the past two decades. Similarly, the way politicians presented health care reform in the 1990s divided Americans along the lines of their attitudes toward gender. Combining cognitive and political psychology with innovative empirical research, the book illuminates the emotional underpinnings of politics in the United States.