McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

EnJolĂ­ S. H. Alexander

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Major and Classification

Political Science

Faculty Mentor

  • Jeffery Sellers, Ph.D., J.D., D.C.L.

Department

  • Political Science

McNair Project

Fighting the Enemy: The Evolution of Interracial Wartime Politics in Los Angeles County during the Era of 'War on Terror'

This explorative study investigated the evolution of interracial wartime politics in Los Angeles County within the modern war era. "Wartime politics" is defined within the study as civil engagement in the form of participating in political coalitions. In order to determine whether the events taking place in America's "War on Terror" had any bearing on the interaction of five ethnic groups in the County, a three-tier typology of interactions was used. The typology included: cooperation/ collaboration, conflict/ competition, and cohabitation. Four types of analysis were conducted - based upon the typology - to discover existing patterns in interaction: content analysis of newspaper articles, analysis of statistics reporting on the locale residence of soldiers and veterans, spatial comparison of soldier/ veteran residence to locations of County politicking, and a comparison of results to preexisting theories on interracial relations. Investigation revealed that most inter-group politicking since "9/11" has been on the basis of religion. A surge occurred in the number of reported hate crimes against Arab-Americans following September 11th, but quickly declined due to civil action taken by that ethnic community. Lastly, although the majority of soldiers and veterans within the County reside in East and South Los Angeles, the communities that were collectively more active in politicking were all in the western and valley regions of the County.