“Understanding Perceptions of Asian-ness and Group Membership among Asian Americans” by Jennifer Wu
March 17, 2021 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am JST
Author: Jennifer Wu (Yale)
Abstract: This study aims to understand the effectiveness of campaign appeals made focusing on Kamala Harris’s multiple racial identities. While support for and favorability towards Harris may increase if an appeal highlights her Asian identity, simply doing so potentially overlooks any countervailing effects due to anti-Black attitudes an individual may have that affect the effectiveness of an Asian identity prime. To measure and identify how anti-Black attitudes affect Harris’s perceived Asian-ness, I rely on two survey experiments which are organized to answer to the following questions. First, I measure the perceived “Asian-ness” of different Asian national origin groups. Extending this to the electoral context, I then measure whether Kamala Harris is perceived as more or less Asian depending on how her racial identity is primed in campaign appeals. Finally, I identify anti-Black attitudes as a potential mechanism that explains support (or lack thereof) for Harris’s candidacy as a function of the racial primes.