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The Impact of Positively Structured Contact on Intergroup Behavior: Does It Last Under Adverse Conditions?

Janet Ward Schofield
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 42, No. 3 (Sep., 1979), pp. 280-284
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3033772
Page Count: 5
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The Impact of Positively Structured Contact on Intergroup Behavior: Does It Last Under Adverse Conditions?
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Abstract

Interracial interaction patterns were observed in a new school selected for study because its sixth and seventh grades came close to meeting the conditions Allport (1954) specified as conducive to improved intergroup relations. The school's eighth grade, however, did not meet these conditions since its students were divided into a predominantly white accelerated track and a predominantly black regular track. A previous study carried out during the school's first year found that, as predicted, racial clustering in the school's cafeteria decreased over the course of the year in the seventh grade, but increased in the eighth grade (Schofield and Sagar, 1977). This paper reports on the interracial behavior of the previously studied seventh-graders as they moved through the essentially segregated eighth grade. As predicted, compared to students who entered the school's eighth grade the previous year from largely segregated schools, these students interacted more across racial lines. Nevertheless, they showed decreasing interaction during their eighth-grade year, as had their counterparts the previous year.

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