Davin Phoenix - American Politics Speaker Series


Friday, September 18, 2020, 1:00pm to 2:30pm



Please register for the seminar here. You will need to have the desktop version of Zoom installed or the Zoom app in  order to access the seminar. 

Davin Phoenix, University of California, Irvine

"The Anger Gap: How Race Shapes Emotion in Politics"

Talk Abstract:
Amidst a historical groundswell of activism against systemic racism, and on the eve of a transformational election, my research asks how race shapes the emotions that are activated and translated to political action among everyday people. I uncover a racial anger gap and underscore its relevance to politics. Among African Americans, anger over political figures, parties and regimes emerges less frequently, and translates less effectively to electoral and civic political actions. Black anger is more often directed at racial rather than strictly political objects, and this anger most effectively translates to actions aimed at challenging the political system from the outside, such as protests, demonstrations and boycotts. Integrating psychology, political behavior and Black politics, I establish the causes and consequences of the racial anger gap. Rooted in the stigmatization of Black anger, the lack of collective agency felt by African Americans, and the distinct sense of racial resignation shaping the group’s perceptions of politics, this gap widens the Black-White electoral participation disparity and shapes the tenor of partisan politics, interracial coalitions and Black organizing in the current racially fraught era.

The  American Politics Speaker Series (APSS)  invites speakers from outside Harvard to present research in American politics. Sponsored by the Center for American Political Studies, the Harvard Department of Government, and Harvard Kennedy School, the series is co-organized by Justin de Benedictis-Kessner, Jon Rogowski, and Ben Schneer. 


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