Trump supporters believe U.S. society is fair, according to study

Voters who supported Donald Trump are more likely than other Americans—even other conservatives—to oppose social justice efforts, a new University of Michigan study shows.

Specifically, this segment thinks the nation spends too much money promoting equality for the poor, women and minorities; agrees that disadvantaged groups have received more than they deserve economically; and believes that disadvantaged individuals' claims of discrimination are invalid.

Erin Cech, U-M assistant professor of sociology, described Trump supporters as "rugged meritocratists" because they believe society is already meritocratic—already fair and just.

It is this belief—not Trump supporters' greater likelihood of expressing social —that helps explain their resistance to social justice issues, she says.

Cech conducted an online survey of 1,151 people three weeks after the 2016 presidential election. The sample is proportionally representative of U.S. adults. They answered questions about bias and beliefs about inequality, and were asked about the candidates they voted for.

Trump supporters, the study indicates, do express more bias: they have more negative assessments of the competence (e.g., intelligence, motivation) and warmth (e.g., humble, happy) of the poor, African Americans, Hispanics and women compared with the views of nonsupporters.

Trump supporters are also more likely to agree that too much money has been spent on welfare, homeless shelters and improving conditions for disadvantaged groups. About 60 percent of Trump supporters believe the poor, racial/ethnic minorities and women have been too demanding in their push for equal rights, Cech says.

"Resistance to social justice efforts appears to be based less in overt social bias than in a particular framing of the social world, one that denies structural inequality and blames victims of that inequality for their own circumstances," she said.

This has consequences for social justice advocates: rugged meritocratists, regardless of their political affiliation, will likely resist social justice efforts because such efforts do not match how they see society, she says. If equality advocates are to foster support for social efforts, they must first convince rugged meritocratists that exists in the first place.

The study appears in the current issue of Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World.

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More information: Erin A. Cech. Rugged Meritocratists: The Role of Overt Bias and the Meritocratic Ideology in Trump Supporters' Opposition to Social Justice Efforts. Socius. DOI: 10.1177/2378023117712395
Citation: Trump supporters believe U.S. society is fair, according to study (2017, June 30) retrieved 24 May 2019 from
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Jun 30, 2017
I think the conclusions ate wrong as the depths of the real scenario---are not part of the question set.

I'm of the opinion and experience that corporate fascism can run amok in a humanist moments and does do so all the time.

that fascists and/or corporate ones, will cloak themselves in the humanist movement in order to get their way, with respect to societal and cultural destruction that is claimed to be good for society and culture, good for the world and it's people.

they will come at you through finances, they will come at you through politics, they will come at you through law, they will come at you through religion, and they'll come at you through humanist movements.

The simple answer is that a destructive parasite will cloak it's self in what ever clothing allows it to get it's way.

The simplistic view of the article fails to take into account the penetration of such fascist and inhuman systems, into such humanist motions and movements.

Jun 30, 2017

I'm of the opinion and experience that corporate fascism

I'm of the opinion that all most all people that use the word "fascism" are conspiracy theorists at heart and not to be taken seriously. Although some of them just throw to word "fascism" around because they think it makes them sound smart. Beside they feel when you label someone, you will win the argument based on bullying.

Jul 02, 2017
If equality advocates are to foster support for social justice efforts, they must first convince rugged meritocratists that inequality exists in the first place

This is commendable anyhow, as the issue lies in part with the fact that the social justice types also tend to invent or exaggerate inequalities to make their own position seem more dire.

There does exist a class of professional martyrs or martyr-stand-ins who subsist on the publicity brought about by taking offense on every possible thing. It has nothing to do with righting injustice.

Again, without the "evil conservative" to act as ballast, the whole political frame would shift away from reality and into make-belief issues designed to benefit unscrupulous individuals and their special interest groups. Even as they are wrong, these "rugged meritocrats" only emerge as a reaction to their opposite; that is the wisdom of the crowd and why in a democracy everyone should be heard even if you deem them idiots.

Jul 02, 2017
even if you deem them idiots.

The ONLY people that are real idiots are the ones that call other people idiots because they have different views.
Although not idiots, conspiracy theorists that find a conspiracy behind everything are close to mentally unstable (I figure everyone is entitled to at least one conspiracy theory).

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