Lecture "When Do the Advantaged See the Disadvantages of Others? A Quasi-Experimental Study of National Service"
Cecilia Mo (University of California, Berkeley)
Date: March 25, 2019 (Monday) 17:30-19:00 (17:00 Open)

Venue: Room 549, Akamon General Research Building, Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo
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Speaker: Cecilia Mo (Department of Political Science, UC Berkeley)
About Professor Mo

Abstract: Are there mechanisms by which the advantaged can see the perspectives
of the disadvantaged? If advantaged individuals have prolonged
engagement with disadvantaged populations and confront issues of
inequality through national service, do they see the world more through
the lens of the poor? We explore this question by examining Teach For
America (TFA), as TFA is a prominent national service program that
integrates top college graduates into low-income communities for two
years and employs a selection model that allows for causal inference. A
regression discontinuity approach, utilizing an original survey of over
32,000 TFA applicants and TFA’s selection data for the 2007–2015
application cycles, reveals that extended intergroup contact in a
service context causes advantaged Americans to adopt beliefs that are
closer to those of disadvantaged Americans. These findings have broad
implications for our understanding of the impact of intergroup contact
on perceptions of social justice and prejudice reduction.