Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Racial Attitudes and Sports

This is less than a first blush, but I'm messing with a large data set that includes questions about how interested you are in certain sports and also happens to have questions elsewhere that asks about attitudes about race and racism.

The news hook is obvious, the Clippers owner being banned for life from the NBA.

This is a difficult data set to work with and I'm trying to grade papers at the end of the semester, but lemme just share a glimpse of what I'm talking about in simple correlations. That means there's a lot of other explanatory factors that need to be controlled for, but just go with it for now. I'm busy on other stuff.So, I'm looking at how interested one is in various pro sports and how that stacks up with how rare one sees racial problems. High scores on the "racial" question means you see them as rare.
  • NBA : -.09*
  • MLB :  .04
  • NFL :  -.05
  • College Basketball : .02
  • NASCAR : -.08*
What's this mean in English? If there is an asterisk (*) that means the relationship is statistically significant, so a relationship is found only for interest in NASCAR and NBA. In both cases the coefficient is negative, meaning the more interest you have in those two sports, the more you disagree with the idea that racial problems are rare and isolated. To put it another way, the more you follow those sports, the more likely you think racial problems exist today. Interesting.

Here's another. In this question respondents were asked whether racism is a major problem. Being interested in any of the sports above was unrelated to this question. In other words, following these sports, any of them, had no relationship to racial attitudes, at least among the 600 or so folks surveyed.

Again, these are correlations, roughed out in a hurry.

I need to root around in the codebook for a really good measure of racism itself and see how it stacks up with these variables, if at all.

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