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Race, Gender, and Political Cognition

Race, Gender, and Political Cognition

(p.1) 1 Race, Gender, and Political Cognition
Dangerous Frames
University of Chicago Press

This book argues that Americans have well-developed ideas about race and a similar ability to map those beliefs into unrelated domains or areas of knowledge. Its central claim is that these understandings of race and gender, in concert with that mapping ability, can powerfully shape our understanding of political issues. It explores the conditions under which frames can subtly associate an issue with race or with gender and thereby affect opinion. Race and gender both define appropriate relationships among individuals and between individuals and groups, and play important roles in structuring society, culture, and politics today worldwide and throughout American (and human) history. This book first develops a theory of the “group implication,” the process by which an issue frame can engage a person's ideas about social categories (in particular race or gender) to shape public opinion. It then presents experimental evidence for race and gender group implication, analyzes actual political discourse in recent American politics, and shows how this discourse has created group implication. The book concludes by focusing on gender implication and exploring opinion on health care.

Keywords:   race, gender, politics, public opinion, health care, group implication, frames, culture, groups

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