American Political Science Review
This study empirically tests three theoretical approaches to explaining specific support for a policy output among members of its target group. The utilitarian model posits support as a function of objective costs and benefits to the individual stemming directly from the policy. The attitudinal model relates specific support to diffuse predispositions rooted in socialization. The perceptual model holds that specific support derives from beliefs about the character of the political decision process by which the policy was formulated. Tests of these three approaches are based on survey data on specific support for school district desegregation plans among a large sample of black and white parents of public school children in Florida. In both subsamples, the utilitarian approach explained very little of the variance in support, but the attitudinal and perceptual models were corroborated. Implications of these findings are drawn for desegregation policy making and for public policy theory.
Gatlin, D. S.; Giles, M. W.; and Cataldo, Everett F., "Policy Support Within a Target Group: The Case of School Desegregation" (1978). Political Science Faculty Publications. Paper 1.
Gatlin, D.S., M.W. Giles, and Everett F. Cataldo. 1978. "Policy Support Within a Target Group: The Case of School Desegregation." American Political Science Review 72: 985-995.
Copyright 1978 Cambridge University Press. Available on publisher's site at http://www.jstor.org/stable/1955116.