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BLACK STEREOTYPING IN A UNIVERSITY POPULATION

PETER B. WOOD and MICHELE CHESSER
Sociological Focus
Vol. 27, No. 1 (February 1994), pp. 17-34
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20831679
Page Count: 18
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BLACK STEREOTYPING IN A UNIVERSITY POPULATION
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Abstract

Replications of the Katz and Braly (1933) study of racial stereotypes from 1951, 1967, 1971, 1982, and 1993 reveal significant changes in how white university students stereotype blacks. The 1993 replication was conducted at a large, mid-western university. Review of the top five black stereotypes from 1932 through 1993 suggests a trend towards stereotypes that are more threatening to whites. Supplementing this overview are results from a more extensive 1992 survey examining racial attitudes among 918 undergraduates at the same large, mid-western university. White students are most likely to adhere to negative stereotypes of blacks while black students are most likely to adhere to positive stereotypes of blacks. Controlling other relevant factors, members of Greek organizations (fraternities and sororities) register significantly higher stereotyping scores than non-members. In addition, multivariate analysis indicates a strong, inverse relationship between school year and stereotype adherence, as each successive year of university schooling results in a corresponding decrease in stereotype adherence. Finally, students claiming Republican party affiliation are much more likely to stereotype blacks than either Democrats or independents, controlling on other factors. Findings indicate that racial stereotypes are acquired early in life, and suggest that the content and degree of black stereotyping serve as a crude barometer of race relations in the U.S. while justifying continued discrimination and symbolic racism against black Americans.

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