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Imperative Patriotism and Minority Candidacies: Examining the Role of Military Status in Racial Evaluations of South Asian Candidates

Visalvanich, Neil and Sriram, Shyam K. (2022) 'Imperative Patriotism and Minority Candidacies: Examining the Role of Military Status in Racial Evaluations of South Asian Candidates.', Political Research Quarterly .


South Asians have seen an increase in representation at all levels of US government, from Congress to the Vice Presidency, yet a paucity of work has been done examining South Asian candidates in America. The distinct nature of South Asian candidacies allows us to examine the intersection between race and religious identity and how emphasizing different social and political identities impact minority candidate evaluations. We theorize the potential effects of racial-political stereotyping of South Asians, focusing specifically on how a Hindu or Muslim background may negatively influence candidate evaluation. Additionally, we consider whether military service has any effect on evaluations of South Asian candidates as dangerous or deficient. We test this theory with a survey experiment that varies both South Asian religious identity, political ideology, and military service. Our findings indicate that white respondents are more hostile to South Asian candidates when compared to white candidates with similar biographies, and that respondents are particularly hostile to Muslim candidates. Cueing military service alleviates this handicap for Muslim candidates, but further analysis reveals that military service only improves perceptions among Democratic respondents.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This contribution has been accepted for publication in Political Research Quarterly.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:27 June 2022
Date of first online publication:22 February 2022
Date first made open access:27 June 2022

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