Aversive Racism: Bias without Intention



This chapter examines one form of contemporary racism, “aversive racism.” Aversive racism is characterized by a conflict between the denial of personal prejudice and unconscious negative feelings and beliefs, which may be rooted in normal psychological processes (such as social categorization). In the chapter, we review experimental evidence of the existence and operation of aversive racism in the behavior of Whites toward Blacks, with emphasis on studies of unintentional discrimination in selection and hiring. Then we explore approaches for combating aversive racism. Specifically, within the framework of the Common Ingroup Identity Model, we demonstrate how developing a sense of shared identity between members of different groups can redirect the forces of social categorization toward the reduction of racial biases. We conclude with a discussion of the social and legal implications of aversive racism and strategies for combating it.


Green Circle Social Categorization Racial Attitude Racial Bias Ingroup Member 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PsychologyUniversity of DelawareUSA
  2. 2.PsychologyColgate UniversityUSA
  3. 3.PsychologyConnecticut CollegeUSA
  4. 4.PsychologyBrock UniversityUSA
  5. 5.Business Administration and Behavioral SciencesCollege of Mount St. JosephUSA

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