Junior Workshop 7:
Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Politics
This workshop is designed for students wishing to conduct original research on race, ethnicity and/or religion in politics, in the U.S. or abroad. Readings and examples will be drawn primarily from published research on *U.S. politics*, focused especially on how an individual's race, ethnicity or religious beliefs shape their political preferences, and how individuals from particular racial, ethnic and religious groups shape politics. We will evaluate and discuss a limited number of these published works to illustrate different research methods and to identify strengths and limitations of each, related unanswered research questions that you may pursue, testable hypotheses, and the most appropriate methods for testing them. Throughout the workshop we will also be discussing the purpose and process of writing a research paper, its various components, and how to make the most of your limited time working on your first JP.
A wide range of questions can be pursued in this workshop. For example: Are Latino churchgoers more politically liberal than white churchgoers and if so why? Are white, black or Latino Catholics more likely to give to charity or political causes? Are primarily black or primarily white churches more likely to discuss politics or provide support services to their local communities and with what consequences? How does the racial mix of one's neighborhood affect their political views or attitudes towards other groups in society? Does seeing a political advertisement in Spanish affect whites and blacks in the same way? Do whites, blacks or Latinos respond more positively to messages about education, immigration or Affirmative Action? How does the political or legal status of one's parents affect their political views?
We will focus on how to develop and refine research questions such as these on race, ethnicity or religion in politics and turn them into testable hypotheses. Depending on your choice of question, you may decide to test one or more of your hypotheses using original case studies, qualitative interviews that you conduct, analysis of preexisting quantitative data such as surveys or censuses, new or existing polling data, experiments conducted online, or a combination of these approaches.