Chapter 5 Notes- Old Fashioned Versus Modern Prejudice
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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
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So its’ more subdued, and subtle.
Three major theories of contemporary forms of prejudice and racism that
attempt to explain the origins of the ambivalence that Caucasians
experience in their attitudes toward African Americans.
Asserts that some Whites are ambivalent toward African Americans,
conflicted between their anti Black feelings and their beliefs that
racism and discrimination are wrong.
For modern racists, the issue is not whether Africa Americans should be
equal, but how that equality should be implemented in policy, law, and
Modern racists believe that
Discrimination is a thing of the past
African Americans are too pushy, trying to get into places where they are
The demands of African Americans are unfair
African American’s gains (bolstered by social programs that provide
economic, housing, and other opportunities) are undeserved and unfair.
They do not think that they are racists because
Racism is associated with pre-civil-rights, “old fashioned” racism, in which
open hatred and feelings of superiority are shown by the racism.
Their subtle negative feelings toward African Americans are disguised, in
order to prevent the dissonance associated with acknowledging the
hypocrisy of prejudice and egalitarian values. since negative attitudes
toward anyone who violates what they believe are traditional American
GOOD Empirical support, and the self report scale has shown to have fair
reliability and validity.
MRS modern racism scale.
The strongest criticism is that modern racism is not conceptually distinct
from old-fashioned racism.
Replaced old-fashioned overt racism.
Whites who would be classified as symbolic racists tend to resist
changing the racial status quo (white dominance) in all areas of life,
economically, socially and politically.
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