An Exploration of Positive Stereotypes: Legitimating the System and Naïve Challenges to It

Laurel R. Davis-Delano, Elizabeth M. Morgan, David M. Merolla, Drexler James, Tuyet Mai Ha Hoang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Scholars have documented harm associated with positive stereotypes about groups that experience inequality. We surveyed five samples from the United States to explore antecedents to dominant group endorsement of positive stereotypes about women, gay men, Asian Americans, Black Americans, and Native Americans. We found more liberal participants, and those with more close contact with members of these groups, were more internally motivated to respond without prejudice, which was then associated with greater endorsement of positive stereotypes about women, gay men, Black Americans, and Native Americans. In contrast, more conservative participants were more likely to believe in system legitimacy, which was then associated with greater endorsement of positive stereotypes about women and Asian Americans. We theorize that positive stereotypes are used by dominant group members in divergent ways, sometimes to legitimate inequality and other times with concern about inequality. The latter likely involves naivety regarding the harmful nature of positive stereotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSociological Inquiry
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An Exploration of Positive Stereotypes: Legitimating the System and Naïve Challenges to It'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this