QSS postdoctoral fellow publishes on religion and race

Dr. Amanda Sahar d'Urso, a QSS postdoctoral fellow who will soon be starting a position as Assistant Professor of Political Science at Georgetown University, recently published an article in Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Politics on the subject of religion and race. Dr. d'Urso's article, titled "Religion or Race? Using Intersectionality to Examine the Role of Muslim Identity and Evaluations on Belonging in the United States," is now available online.

In Spring 2023, Dr. d'Urso taught QSS 30.23/GOVT 83.30, formally titled Ethnoracial Identities in Politics and Society. The course focuses on understanding ethnoracial identities that may not fit into preexisting categories and examines the unique quantitative challenges associated with studying and understanding such categories. The goals of the course were for the students (1) to develop a nuanced understanding of ethnoracial identities beyond existing categories and (2) to learn quantitative methods appropriate for analyzing these identities. The culminating project in QSS 30.23/GOVT 83.30 was centered on how to study populations quantitatively when simple ethnoracial labels do not exist to capture complex identities. 

The abstract of Dr. d'Urso's article is as follows:

How do White Americans evaluate the politics of belonging in the United States across different ethnoreligious identity categories? This paper examines this question through two competing frameworks. On the one hand, given the salience of anti-Muslim attitudes in the United States, we consider whether White Americans penalize Muslim immigrants to the United States regardless of their ethnoracial background. On the other hand, Muslim identity is often conflated by the general public with Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) ethnoracial identity. We argue MENA-Muslim identity should be understood through the lens of intersectionality. In this case, White Americans may penalize MENA-Muslims immigrants to the United States more than Muslims from other ethnoracial groups. We test these two frameworks through a conjoint experimental design wherein respondents are asked to evaluate immigrants and indicate to whom the United States should give a green card—signaling legal belonging—and how likely the immigrant is to assimilate into America—signaling cultural belonging. Although White Americans believe White Muslims may assimilate better to the United States relative to MENA-Muslims, race does not moderate how White Americans evaluate who should be allowed to belong in the United States.