Books et al.Political Attitudes

The political legacy of slavery

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Science  26 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6413, pp. 408
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav1297

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Summary

Deep Roots argues that political culture in the South can be explained by the path dependence of political attitudes—that is, that ideas, norms, and behaviors of the past can influence the present. The argument sits in dialogue with a long-standing literature in institutional path dependence but differs in its approach by making political attitudes and behaviors, rather than institutional outcomes, the subject of observation. The authors make an important contribution by showing that just as attitudes and behavioral norms can be passed down through families and social circles, so too can they be reinforced by institutions.

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