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Book cover for Politics Beyond Black and White

Politics Beyond Black and White: Biracial Identity and Attitudes in America (Cambridge University Press, 2018)

* Winner of the International Society of Political Psychology David Sears Best Book Award *

The U.S. is transforming into a multiracial society: today one-in-six new marriages are interracial and the multiple-race population is the fastest-growing youth group in the country. In Politics Beyond Black and White, Lauren Davenport examines the ascendance of multiracial identities and their implications for American society and the political landscape. Amassing unprecedented evidence, this book systematically investigates how race is constructed and how it influences political behavior. Professor Davenport shows that biracials' identities are the product of family, interpersonal interactions, environment, and, most compellingly, gender stereotypes and social class. These identities, in turn, shape attitudes across a range of political issues, and multiracial identifiers are shown to be culturally and politically progressive. But the book also reveals lingering prejudices against race-mixing, and that intermarriage and identification are highly correlated with economic prosperity. Overall findings suggest that multiracialism is poised to dismantle some racial boundaries, while reinforcing others.

Advance Praise

“This is a brilliant achievement that trumpets the arrival of an important new voice in political science. Addressing one of the most striking trends in recent American history, Davenport sets a new standard for scholarship on race, gender, and mixed race identities.”
– Taeku Lee, Professor of Political Science and Law, University of California, Berkeley

“While observers have long understood that race and ethnicity are socially constructed, Davenport reveals just how this process works, and how deeply political it is in its origins and consequences.”
– Martin Gilens, Professor of Politics, Princeton University

“Lauren Davenport has done two things in one book that elude some social scientists for entire careers. She asks new questions about an emerging social phenomenon, and offers answers that are both well-theorized and empirically supported. This book will serve as our foundational understanding of multi-racial populations and their political thinking.”
– Gary M. Segura, Dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA

“Davenport’s foundational book is the most careful and rigorous work to date on the sociological causes and political consequences of multiracial identification in America. This growing group of citizens with diverse ethnic backgrounds will likely play a vital role in electoral politics in the years to come, and her book therefore provides a vital foundation for understanding how individuals internalize and then navigate the racial conflicts so prevalent in our society today.”
– Nicholas Valentino, Professor of Political Science, University of Michigan

“By decoupling ancestry and racial identification, Davenport offers a necessary and nuanced addition to literature on the multiracial experience in the United States. Politics Beyond Black and White is a clearly written and compelling read not only for sociologists and political scientists but also for anyone interested in multiracial identity and its implications for the future of American politics.”
– Aliya Saperstein, Associate Professor of Sociology, Stanford University

“Not many books are truly path-breaking. This one is. Filled with careful research and telling anecdotes, Davenport’s work is an eye-opening guide to an increasingly important sector of the American electorate.”
– Christopher Achen, Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences, Princeton University