When Do the Stigmatized Stigmatize? The Ironic Effects of Being Accountable to (Perceived) Majority Group Prejudice-Expression Norms

Jenessa R. Shapiro, Steven Neuberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

How do frequently stigmatized individuals feel about and respond to members of other potentially stigmatizable groups? Four studies demonstrated that perceptions of majority group norms regarding prejudice expression can shape how minority individuals respond to minority individuals from other groups. Study 1 revealed that Black and White men and women have somewhat different perceptions of Whites' norms regarding prejudice expression. Study 2 manipulated whether evaluations of Native American job candidates were to remain private or to be made public to unfamiliar Whites upon whom the evaluators were dependent: Black men used a strategy of publicly (but not privately) denigrating the minority target to conform to presumed prejudice-expression norms. Study 3, in which the authors explicitly manipulated prejudice-expression norms, and Study 4, in which they manipulated audience race, further supported the role of such norms in eliciting public discrimination against minority group members by other minority group members. The desire to avoid being targeted for discrimination, in conjunction with the perception that the majority endorses discrimination, appears to increase the likelihood that the often-stigmatized will stigmatize others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-898
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume95
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Keywords

  • conformity
  • intergroup interaction
  • prejudice and discrimination
  • racial and ethnic relations
  • social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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