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OversightRepresenting the Interests of Blacks and Latinos in Congress$
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Michael D. Minta

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691149257

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691149257.001.0001

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Race, Ethnicity, and a Theory of Substantive Representation in Congressional Oversight

Race, Ethnicity, and a Theory of Substantive Representation in Congressional Oversight

Chapter:
(p.16) 2 Race, Ethnicity, and a Theory of Substantive Representation in Congressional Oversight
Source:
Oversight
Author(s):

Michael D. Minta

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691149257.003.0002

This chapter outlines the relationship between race, ethnicity, and substantive representation via an in-depth discussion of how racial and ethnic group consciousness operates among black and Latino representatives in Congress. While all members of Congress face the pressure of making the right decisions to increase their chances at reelection, black and Latino legislators, unlike most white legislators, face an additional pressure: they are motivated by a group norm that requires them to engage in collective group action on issues of concern to other blacks and Latinos. White legislators are mainly responsible for being responsive to the constituents in their districts, whereas black and Latino legislators are also expected to represent the interests of all blacks and Latinos nationally. The strategy they pursue of “strategic group uplift” falls at the intersection of their electoral goals and their commitment to advance group interests.

Keywords:   race, ethnicity, substantive representation, racial consciousness, ethnic group, minority representatives, black legislators, Latino legislators, strategic group uplift, collective group action

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