Racial Differences in Level of Trust in Government
Mentor:Ann Gordon, Associate Professor of Political Science, Chapman University
This analysis will investigate the affect that race and ethnicity have on levels of trust in government. Past research has found that people who belong to a minority group tend to distrust the government more than white citizens regardless of party affiliation. One factor that has been studied is the level of exposure of the government to African American citizens compared to white citizens as well as how much that exposure molds their perception of the political system. Overall, trust in the federal government has been decreasing steadily over the years for all citizens. Relying on the 2008 American National Election Study survey data I will further investigate this phenomenon by looking at gender, party affiliation/voting behavior, and level of government exposure. Moreover, I expect to find that racial/ethnic minorities have a much lower level of trust in the federal government than whites, despite their party and gender. This paper concludes by considering the implications of these findings for Democracy in America.