Tuesday Seminar – 15 September

How White Identity Shapes Canadian Politics

Edana Beauvais (Duke University / Harvard University)
Dietlind Stolle (McGill University)

White identity is an understudied concept in Canadian politics. In this talk, we describe the contours of Canadian White identity and ask how it shapes White Canadians’ policy preferences and vote choice. We compare the political consequences of White ingroup identity and White outgroup attitudes, particularly anti-Indigenous attitudes. Our findings confirm some insights from the American literature: stronger identification with the White ingroup relates to White Canadians’ support for government spending on policies that disproportionately benefit Whites, while negative outgroup evaluations are related to opposition to welfare. In Canada outside Québec, there is only limited evidence that White identity relates to voting Conservative, however, we confirm that anti-Indigenous attitudes are associated with voting Conservative. In Québec, White identity seems to mobilize support for the Bloc Québécois while Whites’ attitudes toward Indigenous peoples do not explain vote choice. Our findings indicate that White identity is an important group identity that seems to play a role in politics and should be included in the political behaviour literature.

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 10 September 2020 at 10 h 35 min.