Chapter

20 Social Conflict, Harmony, and Integration

Personality and Social Psychology

II. SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

  1. John F. Dovidio PhD1,
  2. Samuel L. Gaertner PhD2,
  3. Elena Wright Mayville BA3,
  4. Sylvia Perry PhD4

Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118133880.hop205020

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition

How to Cite

Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Wright Mayville, E. and Perry, S. 2012. Social Conflict, Harmony, and Integration. Handbook of Psychology, Second Edition. 5:II:20.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Yale University, Department of Psychology, New Haven, Connecticut , USA

  2. 2

    University of Delaware, Department of Psychology, Newark, Delaware, USA

  3. 3

    Yale University, Department of Psychology, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

  4. 4

    Yale University, Department of Psychology, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 26 SEP 2012

Abstract

This chapter examines the psychological bases of intergroup bias and conflict and considers how greater understanding of these psychological processes can guide interventions to reduce bias and facilitate social integration. The chapter first presents a brief historical overview of empirical and theoretical emphases in the social psychological study of intergroup relations. Then it reviews the normal and generally functional cognitive, motivational, interpersonal, and social processes that can contribute to the development of intergroup bias and social conflict. The chapter then explores how intergroup interactions, between individual members of different groups or between two groups collectively, can both reflect and reinforce intergroup bias and conflict. We emphasize, however, that understanding the processes creating intergroup bias and conflict can inform strategies to harness these influences to improve intergroup attitudes, encourage reconciliation, and create stable and productive social integration. The chapter concludes by outlining how these different processes operate in concert and considering the practical and theoretical implications.

Keywords:

  • conflict;
  • discrimination;
  • intergroup relations;
  • social identity;
  • reconciliation