The Color of Belonging: Skin Tone and Attitudes Towards Ethnic Voting in India

Thursday, May 30 at 12:30pm to 2:00pm

Ethnic voting is a feature of many multiethnic democracies the world over. The existence of an identity group does not guarantee the electoral solidarity of group members. Besides the desire to corner state resources, relations of fear and prejudice between groups are identified as prominent motivations for ethnic voting. But how members of a group treat each other, how they exercise their preferences and prejudices towards fellow group members, should also matter to group solidarity in elections, especially when often substantial number of interactions that people have are with in-group rather than with out-group members. In this presentation, drawing on a survey of over 5200 voters conducted across two very different political contexts in India, Amit Ahuja will discuss the effect of one such prejudice –the universal bias against dark skin color – on attitudes towards electoral solidarity of caste groups. 

Ellison Hall, 3824