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CSLS Speaker Series – David C. Wilson, “Racial Resentment in the Political Mind”

Monday, January 30, 2023 @ 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

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Monday, January 30, 2023

Dean of the Goldman School & Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley


Racial Resentment in the Political Mind
(University of Chicago Press, 2022)


In his new book, Racial Resentment in the Political Mind, David Wilson and Darren Davis (University of Notre Dame) assert that racial resentment, properly conceived, is a powerful explanation for American politics, and not just on racial matters. When conceptualized as prejudice, racial resentment is limited to anti-group attitudes; however, when conceptualized as a political judgement about deservingness it opens the door to a more robust way of understanding the persistence of racial injustice. Because politics involves decisions about “who gets what” in society—as well as “how they get it” and “why they get it,”—a natural human response to any public policy or program, or collective decision that distributes or redistributes opportunities and outcomes, will prompt an evaluation of deservingness. Deservingness involves an appraisal of individual or group actions, and the character of those actions, opening the door to reactions that resemble racism and prejudice but also contain non-racial judgments. In the book, we offer a framework for detangling more racist and less racist motivations for political decision making, and reveal that racial attitudes require a more nuanced approach to produce effective and sustained change.


Monday, January 30, 2023
12:45 pm - 2:00 pm
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132 Law Building


Center for the Study of Law and Society

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