Heritage Versus Hate: Assessing Opinions in the Debate over Confederate Monuments and Memorials

Christopher A. Cooper, Scott H. Huffmon, H. Gibbs Knotts, Seth C. McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study evaluates factors that might explain southerners’ opinions toward Confederate monuments. Method: We conduct a series of multivariate analyses of opinions toward Confederate monuments based on a poll of 789 respondents who live in the American South. Results: The majority of southerners surveyed want to leave Confederate monuments where they are, place a marker next to them for historical context, or place them in a museum. Southerners who express high levels of racial resentment are more likely to want to leave monuments where they are, without additional context. Southern identity has no effect on opinions toward Confederate monuments. Conclusions: Southerners are divided in their opinion on symbols of the Confederacy. Racial resentment explains much more of opinions on Confederate monuments than southern identity, suggesting that “hate” rather than “heritage” is the primary driver of opinions on these symbols of the South's Confederate legacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1110
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Science Quarterly
Volume102
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

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