Group Consciousness and the Politics of American Indians

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Date
2023-11-07
Authors
Jones-Kerwin, Natalie
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Springer
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Political Science
Abstract
Group consciousness is a pivotal concept used to understand the politics of many racial and ethnic groups. Originating from the study of African American politics, it has evolved into a unifying framework for analyzing the politics of most other racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Examining the construction and political relevance of group consciousness among identity groups is crucial for gaining a comprehensive perspective on race and ethnicity in politics. In this study, we employ an original survey involving 700 American Indians to empirically explore the multifaceted nature of group consciousness in this group. We investigate the factors associated with the development of group consciousness and how it intersects with their political attitudes and behaviors. Group consciousness emerges as a singular dimension that exhibits a strong correlation with political engagement and public opinion for American Indians. Our findings offer valuable insights into the distinctive nature of group consciousness within the American Indian population due to the uniqueness of their tribal political relationship. We also enhance the comprehension of how group consciousness operates in American politics by broadening the range of politicized identities employed for empirical exploration, shedding light on its impact on shaping political behavior.
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This accepted article is published as Jones-Kerwin, N., Peterson, D.A. Group Consciousness and the Politics of American Indians. Polit Behav (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-023-09903-9. Posted with permission.
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