Jun Xu

Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Sociology


Suburbanites--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--Attitudes; Whites--Illinois--Chicago Suburban Area--Attitudes; African Americans--Illinois--Chicago Suburban Area; Chicago Suburban Area (Ill.)--Race relations


My thesis examined white suburbanites' racial attitudes toward blacks using Schuman et al.’s typology o f racial attitudes. Due to the contextual change o f racial attitudes, I reconceptualized white suburbanites’ racial attitudes into the level of supportive treatment o f blacks and perceived cultural distance from blacks. Operationally defining Bobo and Hutchings's extended group position model and Quillian’ s group threat model in the suburban context, I proposed a model integrating sociocultural and competition concepts. My model hypothesized that the predictors o f white suburbanites' racial attitudes toward blacks can be grouped into three sets: sociocultural variables, competition variables, and demographic control variables. The data came from the multiculturalism module (N=210) o f the 1999 Chicago Collar County Survey (N=478), a cross-sectional survey assessing the life quality o f the predominantly white communities in the Chicago collar county area. The results o f my study showed that the effects o f sociocultural variables (education, contact with minorities, and cultural awareness) and competition variables (income, percent group, and competition awareness) explain different dimensions o f racial attitudes. My integrated model also found that education and cultural awareness have a large impact on white suburbanites’ racial attitudes; percent black in the Chicago suburbia is positively correlated with more favorable racial attitudes o f white suburbanites toward blacks.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [114]-119)


ix, 123 pages




Northern Illinois University

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