Title

Intersecting Identities: Race, Military Affiliation, and Youth Attitudes towards War

Abstract

African-Americans in the U.S. military encompass at least two distinct identity groups: a racial status associated with lower support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and a military status which tends to be more ‘hawkish' in perspective. This study examines the intersection of these two status characteristics utilizing survey data of American military academy cadets, Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets, and civilian students (n = 5,051). Majorities of military cadets, regardless of race, supported both of these wars more than their civilian counterparts, but African-Americans are significantly less supportive of the wars relative to their peers within each group. African-American cadets support both wars less so than whites and cadets of other races, but African-American cadets supported both wars more than African-American civilians. It appears that racial and military affiliations combine to yield a unique perspective on war, adapting elements of both statuses. These findings support the concept of intersectionality.

Department(s)

Sociology and Anthropology

Document Type

Article

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1179/0729247315z.00000000056

Keywords

African-Americans, war, race, ethnicity, attitudes, U.S. military, Iraq, Afghanistan, college undergraduates

Publication Date

2015

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