CHATPER 5: OLD FASHIONED VERSUS MODERN
PREJUDICE 10-08-07 4:17 PM
Chapter 5: Old Fashioned Versus Modern Prejudice
Stereotypes were coming to be understood as attitudes (negative
evaluations rather than pictures in our head) that some people endorse but
others do not.
If the basis of prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination was a negative
attitude (and not something inherent about being human), then if we can
understand the nature of those attitudes we can understand the nature of
stereotyping and prejudice and then being a much better position from
which to address ways to reduce or eliminate stereotyping or prejudice.
Katz and Braly’s (1933) landmark study, researchers obtained their first
view of the content of racial stereotypes that Caucasians held about African
Americans [White college students were asked to indicate whether various
traits (84 in all) described Caucasians or African Americans]
Certainly the changes in the social, legal and political climate of the US seem
to correspond to the changes in Caucasian’s self reported stereotypes of
Research suggests that stereotypes are activated automatically upon
encountering the stimulus (group label, or other indicator of the group) and
can old a wealth off affective and other cognitive information that drives the
stereotype that cannot be represented on the adjective checklist.
Other researchers suggest that Katz and Braly procedure does not, as
commonly believed, measure knowledge about stereotypes, but rather
personal beliefs about the truth of the stereotype.
Studies suggest that although personal beliefs in negative stereotypes of
African Americans appear to have decreased, knowledge of the culture
stereotype of African Americans appears to remain the same. Thus,
Caucasians rather unanimously nknow about the negative things (and few
positive things) that are stereotypically associated with African Americans
via their early learning from parents or through other exposure to such
information in society. Yet what has seemed to change is their willingness to
personally believe, and also overly express, such negative racial attitudes.
Stereotypes have not changed, but the form in the way they are expressed