Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Kevin Stainback

Committee Chair

Kevin Stainback

Committee Member 1

Rachel Einwohner

Committee Member 2

Robert Perrucci

Committee Member 3

Jacob Hibel


What is the nature of White racial attitudes in the age of Obama? This dissertation project seeks to answer this question in three distinct ways. The first empirical chapter examines the role of economic insecurity and education on White racial attitudes. The second empirical chapter evaluates the relative importance of individual vs. contextual factors in shaping Whites' attitudes about race. The third empirical chapter seeks to evaluate the extent to which racial color-blindness (as opposed to other racial attitudes) motivates White opposition to race-targeted programs. Findings in empirical chapters one and two are conditional, while clear evidence is demonstrated that color-blindness does not predict white opposition to race-targeted programs in empirical chapter three. Implications for the future study of white racial attitudes are discussed.