Ashley Jardina’s research focuses on racial attitudes, racial conflict, and the way in which group identities influence political preferences in the United States. Her research and commentary has been widely featured in outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Vox, 538, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and more.
Her book, White Identity Politics, published by Cambridge University Press, is available on Amazon.com. It is the 2020 winner of the American Political Science Association’s Robert E. Lane award for the best book published in political psychology. In 2021, she received the American Political Science Association Elections, Voting Behavior, and Public Opinion Section’s Emerging Scholar Award for a top scholar in the field within 10 years of their Ph.D.
Amidst discontent over America’s growing diversity, many white Americans now view the political world through the lens of a racial identity. Whiteness was once thought to be invisible because of whites’ dominant position and ability to claim the mainstream, but today a large portion of whites actively identify with their racial group and support policies and candidates that they view as protecting whites’ power and status. In White Identity Politics, Ashley Jardina offers a landmark analysis of emerging patterns of white identity and collective political behavior, drawing on sweeping data. Where past research on whites’ racial attitudes emphasized out-group hostility, Jardina brings into focus the significance of in-group identity and favoritism. White Identity Politics shows that disaffected whites are not just found among the working class; they make up a broad proportion of the American public—with profound implications for political behavior and the future of racial conflict in America.
White Identity Politics Reviews
For most of the period since the civil rights movement, the best scholarship has found that whites’ identities as white people played little role in their racial politics, at least as compared to their resentments of blacks. Ashley Jardina’s book has changed that. It provides us with the most thorough and convincing evidence of the continuing centrality of white identity in many whites’ thinking about race in America
For too long now, political scientists have tended to firewall the study of white Americans to the questions of whether out-group bias persists and, if so, whether it continues to bear the virulence of Jim Crow-style racism or manifests in new indirect, implicit strains. White Identity Politics is a breakthrough that invites us to rethink the roots of both white prejudice and white solidarity. This is an indelible and indispensable corrective that ought to be read by anyone bewildered by our current political moment
White Identity Politics provides a timely and insightful look at American racial politics from the perspective of the white majority. Jardina argues that growing demographic diversity has politicized white identity, generating a sense of white deprivation and defense of white privilege that is distinct from racial animus. Many whites do not identify strongly with their racial group but those who do show clear favoritism for policies and political candidates who promote white interests and maintain white numerical supremacy. By shifting the focus away from white prejudice and toward the defense of white privilege, the book makes an invaluable contribution to the study of American race and ethnic relations.
— Leonie Huddy