Inter-racial Gateways: The Potential of Biracials to Reduce Threat and Prejudice in Inter-racial Dynamics

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Abstract

We test the notion that the presence of a dual identity group, which partially shares both the ingroup and a relevant outgroup identity, can decrease intergroup prejudice. Previous research has demonstrated that such dual identity groups can act as a possible gateway between the groups that represent the respective sources of the dual identity. The current research applies this notion to the inter-racial context in the United States, focusing on the case of biracial individuals as having dual identities, and thus as potential gateways between blacks and whites. Specifically, we tested the prediction that exposure of whites to biracial individuals would decrease intergroup threat which in turn would decrease prejudice toward blacks. Findings from three studies supported this prediction and showed that the presence of biracial individuals reduced intergroup threat and prejudice among those most likely to harbor them (specifically, those high on social dominance orientation). We discuss the implications of our findings in terms of how this effect corresponds with current theoretical developments on dual identity, and possible practical social implications.

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Levy, A., Halperin, E., van Zomeren, M., & Saguy, T. (2019). Inter-racial Gateways: The Potential of Biracials to Reduce Threat and Prejudice in Inter-racial Dynamics. Race and Social Problems, 11(2), 119–132. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12552-018-9257-x

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