Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vincent N. Parrillo
Social distance is a term that refers to the degree of social acceptance individuals give to members of other racial or ethnic groups. Sociologist Emory Bogardus (1882–1973) devised a simple measurement tool to assess the closeness (or distance) individuals find personally acceptable. Choices included acceptance by marriage into one's family, personal friendship, neighbor, coworker, speaking acquaintance, only as visitors to the country, or the extreme of barring even entry to the country. In national studies beginning in 1926 and spanning 50 years, researchers obtained responses from college students ages 18 to 35 about their preferences among 30 groups. Generally, the findings reflected a similarity-attraction bond, with Northern and Western ...