Date

2019

Department or Program

Political Science

Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor

Jennifer Chudy

Abstract

This project investigates Indian American partisanship. Why, despite several large cleavages like religion and income, do most Indian Americans identify with a single party? Building on a long tradition of studying partisanship, I posit that Indian-Americans share a group consciousness borne out of experiences of racial discrimination. This group consciousness drives Indian-Americans to identify as Democrats. First, I present several theories of party identification and evaluate their explanatory power, both theoretically and when applied to other groups, such as Jewish Americans and Asian-Americans. I then present an original theory of party identification in the Indian-American community. Next, I explore the nature of newspaper coverage on Indian-Americans by conducting a content analysis of New York Times and India Abroad articles. Finally, I use data from the 2016 CMPS to empirically test my theory. All together, this project provides a new way of considering a well-studied concept applied to an understudied group.

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