Two dimensions of subordination: Evidence for a new model of racial position
Zou, Linda Xiaoying
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Theories of race relations have been justifiably shaped by the concept of a racial hierarchy along which Whites are the most advantaged, and Blacks occupy a subordinate, inferior position. However, the recent precipitated growth of Latinos and Asian Americans underscores the need for a framework that fully integrates these groups. The current work proposes that racial groups are positioned not only along a dimension of perceived inferiority, but also along a second dimension of perceived cultural foreignness, such that the four largest racial and ethnic groups in the United States are located in four distinct quadrants: Whites are seen as superior and American, Blacks as inferior and relatively American, Latinos as inferior and culturally foreign, and Asian Americans as relatively superior and culturally foreign. Support for this Racial Position Model was first obtained through targets’ perspectives. Racial groups are subject to qualitatively distinct patterns of prejudice and discrimination that are predicted by their two-dimensional group positions (Studies 1 and 2). From perceivers’ perspectives, these group positions are reflected in the content of racial stereotypes (Study 3), and are well-known and consensual (Study 4). Together, these studies provide evidence that racial minority groups are subordinated along two discrete dimensions, the combination of which has implications for understanding the nature of intergroup relations.
- Psychology