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Chapter 6

Prejudice Chapter 6.docx

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Michael Inzlicht

Chapter 6: Experiencing Prejudice Social Stigma  Erving Goffman—referred to the unusual characteristics that engender negative evaluations as being indicators of Stigma  Stigmatized person is one who is “reduced in our minds from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one”  Stigmas are characteristics that mark the individual as “deviant, flawed, limited, spoiled or generally undesirable:  Stigma encompasses all the more familiar situations where prejudice is shown (racial, religious, gender, age) o Also covers physical, behavioral, psychological markers that elicit negative evaluations  Goffman denoted three types of stigmas o Abominations of body  E.g. physical deformities, being overweight o Blemishes of Characters  E.g. drunkenness o Tribal Stigmas of race, nation and religion  E.g. prejudice against another race  Little research has been conducted on the experiences of the stigmatized person and how stigmatized and non-stigmatized individuals regard each other in social interactions Group Identification  Previous research shows that individuals faced with external threats (i.e., prejudice)— show stronger in-group identification o Confirmed in Jews, African Americans and women  But subsequent research has indicated that whether the individual has already strongly personally identified with their stigmatized group will have a major impact on the degree to which that individual disassociates from the group  High identifiers are much more likely to associate themselves with their group—even when (especially when) it has a negative image o High identifiers derive much of their self-esteem from their identification as a group member o Much more likely to seek collective strategies against group threat o Tend to make it clear that they are fully committed, loyal group members who are in it for the long run  Low identifiers—much more likely to dissociate themselves from the group (especially when it has a negative image o Feel no special affinity toward or derive no self-esteem from their group o “seem quite prepared to let the group fall apart” when the group is threatened or has a negative image o Much more individualistic and opportunistic in that they will only identify themselves with the group when it would positively affect their social identity Stereotype Threat  For most groups—exist a few widely known stereotypes  From early on children learn these stereotypes—aware that their own group and other groups are sometimes negatively viewed by others  Individuals in stereotyped groups—often find themselves ever-vigilant about not behaving in ways that confirm stereotypes about one’s group o Because if they do so it will support the legitimacy of the stereotype in other people’s eyes  Occasionally stigmatized people will engage in performance-limiting behavior (practicing less before an athletic event or not studying prior to an exam)—in order to provide them with a ready excuse for their expected poor performance on the stereotype- relevant dimension o This is called stereotype threat  For many stereotype
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