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Black and BlueHow African Americans Judge the U.S. Legal System$
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James L. Gibson and Michael Nelson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190865214

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190865214.001.0001

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Black and Blue

James L. Gibson

Michael J. Nelson

Oxford University Press

We have investigated the differences in support for the U.S. Supreme Court among black, Hispanic, and white Americans, catalogued the variation in African Americans’ group attachments and experiences with legal authorities, and examined how those latter two factors shape individuals’ support for the U.S. Supreme Court, that Court’s decisions, and for their local legal system. We take this opportunity to weave our findings together, taking stock of what we have learned from our analyses and what seem like fruitful paths for future research. In the process, we revisit Positivity Theory. We present a modified version of the theory that we hope will guide future inquiry on public support for courts, both in the United States and abroad.

Keywords:   legitimacy, diffuse support, Positivity Theory, U.S. Supreme Court, symbols, linked fate, Social Identity Theory, group attachment, vicarious experience, information processing

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