Betina Cutaia Wilkinson

photo Assistant Professor

Phone: 758-3997


Personal Website:

Betina Cutaia Wilkinson is an assistant professor of political science at Wake Forest University.  She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and immigrated to the United States at the age of six.  Her research and teaching interests include race and ethnicity, Latino politics, race and media, public opinion and immigration policy.  Her current book project Partners or Rivals? Power and Latino, Black and White Relations in the 21st Century will be published by University of Virginia press (series editors: Paula McClain and Luis Fraga) this fall. The book explores racial attitudes among whites, blacks and Latinos in the U.S. Wilkinson has a forthcoming book chapter on North Carolina Latinos and the 2012 presidential election to be published by Michigan State University Press. Her latest study on Latinos’ perceptions of commonality with blacks and whites has recently been published in Political Research Quarterly.


B.A.    2004, Loyola University New Orleans, New Orleans

M.A.    2007, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Ph.D.  2010, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge

Academic Appointments

2010-present   Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Wake Forest University


Wilkinson, Betina Cutaia. Partners or Rivals? Power and Latino, Black, White Relations in the 21st Century. Under contract at University of Virginia Press. Forthcoming fall 2015.

Wilkinson, Betina Cutaia. “Perceptions of Commonality and Latino-Black, Latino-White Relations in a Multiethnic U.S.” Political Research Quarterly 67:4 (2014), pp. 905-916.

Wilkinson, Betina Cutaia and Emily Earle. “Taking a New Perspective to Latino Racial Attitudes: Examining the Impact of Skin Tone on Latino Perceptions of Commonality with Whites and Blacks.” American Politics Research 41:5 (2013), pp. 783-818.

Dunaway, Johanna, Kirby Goidel, Ashley Kirzinger and Betina Cutaia Wilkinson. “Rebuilding or Intruding? Media Coverage and Public Opinion on Latino Immigration in Post-Katrina Louisiana.” Social Science Quarterly 92:4 (2011), pp. 917-937.

Rouse, Stella, Betina Wilkinson, and Jim Garand. “Divided Loyalties? Understanding Variation in Latino Attitudes toward Immigration.” Social Science Quarterly 91:3 (2010), pp.856-882.

Wilkinson, Betina Cutaia. “North Carolina Latinos: An Emerging, Influential Electorate in the South.” Book chapter in The Pivotal Role of the Latino Electorate in the 2012 Election. Michigan State University Press. Forthcoming.

Wilkinson, Betina Cutaia. “Hispanic Americans.” The Oxford Companion to American Politics. Edited by David Coates and Kathy Smith. Oxford University Press. (2012), pp. 489-495.

Pol 113  American Government and Politics

This course explores the U.S. government system and the relationship between government and the residents of this country.  Guiding questions in this course include: What does it mean to be an American? What is a representative democracy and why do we value it? What are our civil rights and liberties, and to what extent are they upheld? How do media affect individuals’ political attitudes and behavior?  To what extent are the three branches of government responsive to the public? Are our political institutions working in an effective manner? Throughout the course, emphasis is placed on current events and the significance of the racial, ethnic diversity in the present and future development of U.S. government.

POL 214 Latino/a Political Behavior (service-learning course)

This course explores the contemporary role of Latinos as a minority group in the U.S. taking into account the history of immigration from Latin America and Latinos’ struggle for civil rights in the 20th century and today.  The major topics covered in this course include: Latinos in North Carolina, interracial attitudes toward immigration from Latin America, Latinos’ role in state and local politics, Latino political identity and participation and the likelihood of coalition formations among Whites, Blacks and Latinos.  Some of the key questions that this course covers are: Who are Latinos? Why do we care about pan-ethnic identity? What does it mean to be an American and how do Latinos fit into this definition?  Why is immigration so important to Latinos? Why is identifying Latinos’ partisan identification so critical?  How does Latino political behavior compare to Blacks, Whites and other minority groups? To encourage a strong, comprehensive understanding of the social, economic and political experiences that Latinos face in the U.S., students are required to provide 20 hours of service to a community agency affiliated with the Latino population or one that targets Latino issues.

POL 224 Racial and Ethnic Politics (service-learning course)

This course explores racial and ethnic politics in the U.S. particularly focusing on African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans and Whites.  Although racial and ethnic politics can cover an extensive number of topics, the course specifically explores issues regarding identity development, minority descriptive and substantive representation and interracial coalition formation.  The main guiding questions of this course include:  Why do we have to have a racial and ethnic politics course?  How do blacks, whites, Latinos and Asian Americans compare and contrast in racial and political identity? How is our world today different than the one that we had before President Obama was elected into office? How and to what extent do our government’s policies handle inequality and racism and protect the rights of people of color?  Given the political realities of today, what strategy (coalition or conflict) should minority groups take when dealing with other minority groups and the majority group? To encourage a solid understanding of the major topics of the course, students are required to provide 20 hours of service to a community agency that addresses the needs and struggles of African Americans, Latinos, American Indians or Asian Americans in the Winston-Salem area.

POL 292 Quantitative Methods

In this course, we will explore the ways in which political scientists and pollsters collect and analyze quantitative data.  The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a range of basic statistical and analytical techniques necessary to understand and conduct quantitative social, political and policy research.  Since statistics can be used poorly and well, the development of these methodological skills is critical for social scientists.  Several topics will be discussed in this course.  We will begin with a discussion of the role of quantitative methods in conducting research in the social sciences. We will then explore the ways in which individuals can use and misuse statistics and data. After an introduction to Stata (a statistical software), we will compute and interpret descriptive statistics and bivariate relationships. Our course will end with an examination of various bivariate and multivariate statistical techniques.  At the end of this course, students will be able to differentiate strong and weak arguments made with statistics; identify, describe and demonstrate the basic statistical techniques necessary to conduct quantitative research; and identify, describe and demonstrate the analytical techniques to examine the validity of inferences drawn from statistical results.