Michelson’s work is focused on three major areas: 1) Latino political incorporation, including work on how Latino immigrants, including undocumented youth (DREAMers) and Latinos more generally, develop their attitudes about U.S. politics; 2) Voter mobilization, including hundreds of field experiments aimed at increasing turnout, including work with the general population and also with low-propensity ethnoracial groups (Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans); and 3) Shifting public attitudes on same-sex marriage and other LGBT rights, including field experiments designed to generate openness to persuasion on these issues. Much of this work has been conducted in cooperation with community organizations, including groups serving ethnoracial communities and LGBT rights organizations.
In the News
Brings together theories of expressive voting with literature on racial and ethnic identification to argue that prior studies, which have found either weak or null effects of identity messages targeting minority groups, have missed a crucial moderating variable—identity strength—that varies across both individuals and communities. Shows the effects of both ethnic and national identity appeals among Latinos in California and Texas are conditional on the strength of those identities in different communities and among different Latino subgroups.
Finds that people are often willing to change their attitudes about LGBT rights when they find out that others with whom they share an identity(for example, sports fans or members of a religious group) are also supporters of those rights. Provides a blueprint for thinking about how to bring disparate groups together over contentious political issues.
Compares Latino trust in government in the context of the 2012 presidential election campaign—one in which outreach to Latino citizens in pursuit of their votes signaled that they were important and powerful members of the polity—to Latino trust in government in the context of the 2006 immigration marches—one in which Latinos found themselves taking to the streets to protest anti-Latino and anti-immigrant legislation.