Author Information

Femi Stoltz


In American society, various social and antipoverty policies remain highly controversial among American voters. As one might expect, the relevance of race in relation to such policies can also be quite controversial. Incorporated within this research is an investigation of political attitudes and policy preferences of American voters. Using affirmative action and state welfare spending as dependent variables, I gauge the effects of respondents’ race and party identification on policy preferences and other behavior patterns. This measure of attitudes will contribute to a further understanding of race, social and antipoverty policies, and the ways in which these variables interact within the American political system.

Both affirmative action and welfare spending are hot-button political topics among both white and black Americans, though not necessarily for the same reasons. Affirmative action programs tend to lack the support of white voters, as a vast majority of white Americans believe that preferential treatment of minorities is unfair to whites (Swain, 2006). In opposition, as beneficiaries, black voters are more likely to be supportive of such policies. Overall, blacks also tend to be more favorable of redistributive programs than whites; this means that there exists a higher likelihood that black voters will be supportive of social initiatives that include efforts such as increasing state welfare spending than will white voters (Swain, 2006).

Note on the Author

Femi Stoltz is a graduating senior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Civic Education and Community Leadership. During the time she took off between completing high school and beginning college, Femi became heavily involved in civic engagement. As a mother and full-time honors student, she remains dedicated to community service. Femi is a former AmeriCorps Student Leader in Service and continues to devote herself to encouraging others to become politically and civically engaged. Femi’s research was conducted during the summer of 2015 with the guidance of her mentor, Dr. Melinda Tarsi (Political Science) and funding support from the Adrian Tinsley Program for Undergraduate Research. She presented her research findings at BSU’s 2016 Student Arts & Research Symposium and the 2016 Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference at UMass-Amherst. Femi intends to pursue further research on educational policy, political polarization, and antipoverty policies. Femi expects to pursue graduate school immediately after completion of her baccalaureate program and plans to use her knowledge of public administration and political science to assist disenfranchised citizens in the greater community.

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