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Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations

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Encyclopedia of Group Processes & Intergroup Relations

John M. Levine & Michael A. Hogg

Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412972017 | Print ISBN: 9781412942089 | Online ISBN: 9781412972017 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Group Position Theory

Danielle L. Blaylock

The study of prejudice is a cornerstone of social psychological and sociological research. Traditionally, prejudice has been defined as negative attitudes toward a person due to his or her membership in a social group. Race prejudice , then, is a form of prejudice directed toward people on the basis of their perceived racial group. Group position theory is a sociological analysis of race prejudice which posits that its source lies in the structural relationship of racial groups in a given society. Fundamentally, it suggests that the features that make up prejudice are derived from the relationships between racial groups and a group's preferred position in a racialized social order, rather than in the individual feelings and experiences of group members. This entry discusses the historical foundations of group position theory, outlines its core tenets, and highlights empirical research that has investigated the theory. It closes by drawing connections between research. ...

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