Northwestern Events Calendar


American Politics Workshop: Nazita Lajevardi

When: Friday, February 19, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Erica Canavan   (847) 491-7451

Group: Department of Political Science

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Global & Civic Engagement


Nazita Lajevardi is a political scientist and attorney at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on issues related to public opinion and political behavior through the lens of religious and racial identity. 

The American Politics Workshop hosts Nazita Lajevardi for a presentation based on research by Tabitha Bonilla, Alexandra Filindra, & Nazita Lajevardi: The Context-Dependence of Social Norms in Evaluations of Racially-Derogatory Political Messages among Blacks and Whites.

Theories of social norms suggest that, except for prejudiced people, individuals should recognize and reject racially derogatory speech. The increase in derogation in politics, including by ingroup members, suggests more complexity. We argue that the application of norms can be context-dependent. Specifically, the race of the observer and that of the speaker are critical to understanding how norms manifest in politics. We test this theory in four experimental studies that compare the reactions of White and Black respondents to White and Black and White and Muslim candidates. We find that Black and White Americans both punish outgroup derogation more than ingroup derogation, though Black Americans punish ingroup derogation more consistently than do White Americans. The results confirm racial differences in the penalization of racial derogation and in the uptake of norms of racial egalitarianism.  

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