Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Bobo, Lawrence D.
Location Harvard University
Primary Field Social and Political Sciences
 Election Citation
Bobo has made central contributions to survey research methodology through his studies of the causes and consequences of racial and ethnic attitudes in US society. His theoretical research into racial prejudice has helped to elucidate our understanding of its nature, explaining how and why key issues become sustained, politicized controversies.
 Research Interests
As a sociologist, I have studied racial attitudes and relations in the U.S., as well as more general topics within public opinion and political behavior, and social inequality. With regard to racial attitudes my work has emphasized careful empirical mapping and theorization of patterns change in the post World War II period in racial attitudes among black and white Americans. Specifically, my work has advanced a group position theory of racial prejudice to explain how and why key issues become sustained, politicized racial controversies (i.e., school busing for desegregation and affirmative action). One stream of my work in public opinion has analyzed the influence of values of tolerance, individualism, and egalitarianism in how U.S. citizens reason about political rights and social inequality. Another stream has focused specifically on the analyzing the values, political attitudes, and behavior of African Americans. In addition, my work has sought to understand the interplay of housing market dynamics, labor market dynamics, and ethno-racial attitudes in the reproduction or transformation of systematic patterns of group segregation, discrimination and inequality in our urban centers.

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