Doctoral Dissertation Research: An Anthropological Approach To Evaluation Prejudice Reduction Strategies

Description

The research funded by this award will use the field expertise of cultural anthropologists to test prejudice reduction strategies. Over the last several years in the United States, structural racism and interpersonal prejudice have taken center stage. While a national conversation along with diversity awareness and training are often suggested as potential solutions, little research has been conducted to reveal whether these approaches work or to identify the more effective interventions. The problem is not a lack of theoretical understanding, but instead that the many explanations offered have yet to be evaluated in any meaningful sense. Academic studies of racism have also been limited by a narrow focus on the black/white racial divide, with less attention directed to the prejudice faced by other ethnic groups. Further, psychologists have repeatedly emphasized that practices designed to reduce prejudice and stereotyping need to be field-tested to confirm their efficacy and generalizability. This project directly responds to that call by studying the effectiveness of coalitional realignment, as well as positive intergroup contact and education, on reducing bias and explicit prejudice. Michelle L. Night Pipe, under the supervision of Dr. Lee Cronk, Rutgers University, will explore stereotyping and racial prejudice directed toward contemporary Native Americans on the northern Great Plains of the United States. She will focus on a recent Wokiksuye (commemorative performance), the Sacred Horse Society's annual Ride to Honor the Women and Children, which appears successful in forging positive relationships between Native American and non-Native communities at the local level. A mixed methods design will blend ethnographic field research with the replication of two different psychology experiments, one utilizing a new measure of prejudice specifically formulated to assess prejudicial attitudes toward Native people, and the other repeating a classic psychology study but for the first time replacing African Americans with a different ancestry group. This project will contribute to the critical task of identifying and field-testing intervention strategies capable of reducing stereotyping and racial prejudice, while providing richly textured data on the effects of interpersonal contact and coalitional manipulation on intergroup prejudice, and insights into the overall malleability of our implicit and explicit biases.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date2/1/177/31/18

Funding

  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

Fingerprint

earning a doctorate
prejudice
evaluation
racism
psychology studies
contact
studies (academic)
intervention strategy
trend
field research
psychologist