Group Position in the Trump Era

One of my papers, just published at Politics, Groups, and Identities with Justin Berry and Sergio Garcia-Rios, examines how individuals’ perceptions of their panethnic group’s discrimination relative to other groups predicts their vote choice.

In this paper we draw on theories of group positioning and political polarization to develop a theory of how Americans locate their panethnic group in the American racial hierarchy. Furthermore, we present evidence of how those perceptions influence Americans’ vote choice.

We draw on data from numerous vintages of the Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey, and the American National Elections Study.

You can read the paper here.

Next steps

Our future research into perceptions of racial/ethnic inequality in the United States will:

  • use experimental methods to identify how white Americans’ policy preferences connect to their perceptions of group status.


Americans’ perceptions of their panethnic group’s relative discrimination present an image of the American racial hierarchy.

Author’s calculations. Data source: Barreto, Matt A., Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, Edward D. Vargas, and Janelle Wong. 2017. “Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey (CMPS) 2016.” Data courtesy of Sergio Garcia-Rios and Latino Decisions.

Colin Cepuran Written by:

Colin Cepuran is a political scientist and a policy analyst working in Kalamazoo, MI.