Deborah Schildkraut

Deborah Schildkraut

Professor of Political Science, Tufts University

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About Deborah

Schildkraut’s research examines the implications of the changing ethnic composition of the United States on public opinion in a variety of domains. She studies attitudes related to national and ethnic identity, immigration policy, language policy, and political representation. She teaches courses on political psychology, public opinion, representation, research methods, and the politics of American identity. She is the author of three books, including a co-authored textbook on American government, and numerous articles. One of her books received a Best Book award from the Political Psychology section of the American Political Science Association. She has served on the Board of Overseers for the American National Election Study and has participated in local programs for K-12 educators on incorporating issues related to immigration-driven diversity into their classrooms.

In the News

Research discussed by Anil Ananthaswamy, in "American Individualism and Our Collective Crisis," Knowable Magazine, December 1, 2020.
Quoted by Simón Rios in "Demographics Could be a Challenge to Warren's Prospective 2020 Bid," WBUR, October 1, 2018.
Opinion: "Americans are Not as Divided or Conservative on Immigration as You Might Think," Deborah Schildkraut, The Conversation, July 3, 2018.
Quoted by Philip Marcelo in "Campaign Focusing on Getting Muslims More Active in Politics," Associated Press, February 2, 2017.
Opinion: "Will Donald Trump’s Call to Profile Muslims Offend Voters?," Deborah Schildkraut, The Conversation, June 22, 2016.
Interviewed in "Donald Trump and the Politics of White Insecurity," Vox, July 20, 2015.
Quoted by Francis Wilkinson in "Whites Surprisingly Chill about Becoming Minority," Bloomberg, May 19, 2015.
Interviewed in "How to Win the Hearts and Minds of Hispanic Voters," Global Post, September 5, 2012.
Research discussed by Juliette Kayyem, in "Immigrants and Native-Born Americans See Eye to Eye," Boston Globe, July 5, 2012.
Quoted by Jesse Signal in "How to be a Smart Campaign Consumer," The Daily Beast, April 21, 2012.


"Local Policy Proposals Can Bridge Latino and (Most) White Americans’ Response to Immigration" (with Yuen J. Huo, John F. Dovidio, and Tomás R. Jiménez). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018).

Finds that welcoming immigration policies, supported by institutional authorities, can create a sense of belonging not only among newcomers that is vital to successful integration but also among a large segment of the population that is not a direct beneficiary of such policies—US-born whites.

"White Attitudes about Descriptive Representation in the U.S.: The Roles of Identity, Discrimination, and Linked Fate" Politics, Groups, and Identities 5, no. 1 (2017): 84-106.

Examines the extent to which these psychological connections to whites as a group exist and shape how whites feel about descriptive representation.

"The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics, 12th Edition " (with Kenneth Janda, Jeffrey Berry, and Jerry Goldman) (Cengage Learning, 2014).
Presents an introduction to American government and politics.
"Which Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Assessing Attitudes about Descriptive Representation among Latinos and Asian Americans" American Politics Research 41, no. 4 (2013): 699-729.
Demonstrates how identities, acculturation, and discrimination affect whether Latinos and Asian Americans prefer co-ethnic representatives and discusses the conditions under which the nation’s rapidly diversifying population could promote competing views about political representation in the United States.
"The Complicated Constituency: A Study of Immigrant Opinions about Political Representation" Politics, Groups, and Identities 1, no. 1 (2013): 26-47.
Compares how Latino immigrants and native-born, non-Hispanic white Americans feel about political representation in the United States. Results highlight similarities in attitudes about representation among both groups but also areas in which immigrants are both more pessimistic and more optimistic. Also shows that immigration, rather than ethnicity, is central to the Latinos’ sense of self when they think about their place in America’s representative democracy.
"Americanism in the Twenty-First Century: Public Opinion in the Age of Immigration" (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Explores the meaning of American identity and its impact on contemporary debates about immigration. Winner of the best book award from the Political Psychology Section of the American Political Science Association.
"The Dynamics of Public Opinion on Ethnic Profiling After 9/11: Results from a Survey Experiment" American Behavioral Scientist 53, no. 1 (2009): 61-79.
Reveals that roughly one-third of Americans would support internment of Muslim Americans or Muslim immigrants in the event of another domestic terrorist attack, compares support for post-9/11 profiling with support for profiling black motorists, and investigates the extent to which alternative perspectives on American identity shapes preferences.
"Press “One” for English: Language Policy, Public Opinion, and American Identity" (Princeton University Press, 2005).
Explores how ideas about what it means to be American shape debates about the role of the English language in American society and influences attitudes on controversial language policies, such as whether English should be the official language of the country and whether election ballots should be available in multiple languages.
"The More Things Change… American Identity and Mass and Elite Responses to 9/11" Political Psychology 23, no. 3 (2002): 511-535.
Compares the ways in which ideas about American identity shaped responses to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Narrow cultural views of being American were awakened by 9/11, yet that image of American identity was directly challenged by a more inclusive perspective.