Christopher D. DeSante

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Indiana University-Bloomington
Chapter Member: Indiana SSN
Areas of Expertise:

Connect with Christopher

About Christopher

DeSante teaches courses in political psychology, American political behavior and quantitative methods. His research is on racism in America, American political partisanship and political methodology



"Racial Stasis: The Milliennial Generation and the Stagnation of Racial Attitudes in American Politics" (with Candis Watts Smith) (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

Notes the hope that the younger generation, which many believe manifests less racism and more acceptance of a multiracial society, may not be happening. Argues that this is because millennials, a generational cohort far removed from Jim Crow and the Civil Rights era, lack sufficient understanding of the structural nature of racial inequalities in the United States and therefore also the contextual and historical knowledge to be actively anti-racist. 

"They Chose to Go to the Moon: How Birth Cohorts Shape Opinions on Funding for Space Exploration" Social Science Quarterly 98, no. 4 (2017): 1175–1188.

Summarizes the identification problem in age-period-cohort methodology and then illustrates the advantages of the IE to the traditionally used constrained generalized linear modeling (CGLIM) approach with specific applications to trends in American political attitudes regarding spending on space exploration.

"Bridging the Gap: How Geographic Context Affects Political Knowledge among Citizen and Non-Citizen Latinos." (with Brittany Perry). American Politics Research 44, no. 3 (2015): 548-577.

Argues that ethnic context helps condition information acquisition among co-ethnics, which, in turn, affects political engagement. Focusing on Latinos, we show that co-ethnic population size in a county matters and importantly, that as the Latino population increases, political information gaps between citizens and non-citizens decrease considerably. Finally, we show similar results regarding levels of political interest and discuss how both knowledge and interest may condition behavior.

"Working Twice as Hard to Get Half as Far: Race, Work Ethic and America’s Deserving Poor" American Journal of Political Science 57, no. 2 (2013): 342–356.

Engages the debate around racialized and redistributive policies through an experimental design which tests whether “hard work” is rewarded in a color-blind manner. The experimental design also affords scholars the opportunity to separate the effects of the two components of racial resentment: principled values and racial animus. The results show that American norms and implicit racism serve to uniquely privilege whites in a variety of ways.