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This AMCIS Seminar will be given by prof. Katherine J. Cramer (University of Wisconsin-Madison).

Event details of AMCIS Seminar
Date 3 June 2021
Time 16:00 -17:00

Deflecting from Racism: Local Talk Radio Conversations about the Murder of George Floyd

Racism is a leading explanation for the lack of redistribution in the United States compared to other advanced democracies. But how does this work? This paper investigates how racism interrupts support for redistribution both in the understandings of members of the public, and in the messages that they encounter from political elites. I listen to broadcasts about the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd and resulting protests that aired on right-leaning local talk radio shows from 5 communities in predominantly white, nonmetro areas of the northern United States, and broadcasts from 3 left-leaning shows that serve as bases of comparison to investigate. I find that the hosts and most callers on the conservative shows actively deflect attention away from racism in the United States. Through the lenses with which they treat racism, there is little possibility for coalition building with lower-income people of color. The results suggest we pay attention to communication in which whites are upholding traditional archetypes of the true American yet recognizing the horrors of racism, as it is a potential source of change. Also, the results suggest closer attention to the impact of local talk radio shows.

About Katherine Cramer

Katherine Cramer is the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science and a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Visiting Professor with the Center for Constructive Communication at the MIT Media Lab. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she uses methods such as inviting herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her award-winning book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, brought to light rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics (University of Chicago Press, 2016). She is one of the founders of the Local Voices Network, a network for constructive communication operated by Cortico. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters. 

This seminar will take place online (Zoom).

You can find the Zoom link in the invitation email, distributed to the AMCIS mailing list (to sign up, click here). This link is also available upon request to Wouter Schakel and