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RCGD Winter Seminar Series: The Color of Power: The Evolving Relationship Between Race, Skin Color and Power in American Politics

Mara Ostfeld
Monday, February 6, 2023
3:30-5:00 PM
1430 Institute For Social Research Map
Mara Ostfeld, Gerald R. Form School of Public Policy; Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan

The Color of Power: The Evolving Relationship Between Race, Skin Color and Power in American Politics

Skin color matters. Within and across ethnoracial groups, skin color affects life experiences, including one’s financial earnings, educational opportunities, health outcomes, exposure to discrimination, interactions with the criminal justice system, and sense of group belonging. While political coalitions in the U.S. have historically revolved around ethnoracial identities, Dr. Ostfeld draws on her book (co-authored with Nicole Yadon) to argue that skin color is an increasingly important component of how people are identifying themselves and staking positions in American racial politics.

The U.S. is experiencing unprecedented levels of political polarization relative to the past few decades, especially in terms of affective polarization, or feelings of dislike and distrust towards members of the opposing political party. In this winter talk series, we will hear from experts across disciplines (social psychology, political science, sociology, communication) in order to better understand why political polarization is so high and what, if anything, can we do about it.

RCGD Seminars will be held at ISR Thompson 1430. Events will be recorded. Graduate seminars precede the events from 2-3:30. To meet with external speakers or to find out more about these events, contact Rachael Hamilton at
Building: Institute For Social Research
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: american culture, Center For Political Studies, gerald r. ford school of public policy, policy, Political Science, Politics
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD), Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Institute for Social Research, Department of Political Science