On the Nature of Contemporary Prejudice: The Third Wave

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Abstract

This article examines how social and historical developments have influenced the intellectual climate surrounding the study of prejudice and illustrates how these advances are reflected in the study of one type of racial bias, aversive racism. Three waves of research are identified. In the first wave, prejudice was assumed to reflect psychopathology. In the second, it was viewed as rooted in normal processes. The third wave emphasizes the multidimensional aspect of prejudice and takes advantage of new technologies to study processes that were earlier hypothesized but not directly measurable. Research on aversive racism is presented to demonstrate the transition of research across the second and third waves and to show how unconscious biases can significantly influence race relations.

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