Lawrence D. Bobo

Harvard University

Primary Section: 53, Social and Political Sciences
Membership Type:
Member (elected 2004)

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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