New research by Jennifer Chudy, assistant professor of political science at Wellesley College, departs from a long tradition of studying racial prejudice, and argues that racial sympathy — defined as white distress over black misfortune — shapes public opinion among a sizable subset of white Americans. Chudy’s research draws from a variety of national surveys and experiments and finds that racially sympathetic whites are especially inclined to support policies perceived to benefit African Americans, such as affirmative action and reparations.
Jennifer Chudy is assistant professor of political science at Wellesley College, where she studies American politics with an emphasis on race and ethnicity, public opinion, and political psychology.
Chudy’s current research develops from her doctoral dissertation and seeks to introduce the phenomenon of racial sympathy to political science and demonstrate its relevance to American public opinion. Her research combines several methods including survey research, experimental work and participant observation, and finds that racial sympathy is a distinct and powerful racial attitude that shapes public opinion among a surprisingly large share of white Americans.
Chudy received her PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and and AB in political science from Brown University. She previously worked in politics and has experience at the federal, state, and local levels of American government. She was also a Fulbright Grantee in South Korea. More information can be found on Prof. Chudy’s Wellesley College faculty profile.