Looking Back as We Look Ahead: Integrating Research, Theory, and Practice on Intergroup Relations


*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Biren (Ratnesh) A. Nagda, School of Social Work, University of Washington, 4101 15th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98105 [e-mail: ratnesh@u.washington.edu].


This article looks back at the origins of intergroup relations in social psychology just over 50 years ago. Pioneers in the field—Robin Williams, Gordon Allport, and Kurt Lewin—were all deeply concerned with integrating social science and social action. We seek to re-center this mutuality of research and practice, and to expand the focus of intergroup relations from prejudice reduction to social inclusion. The articles in this issue document cutting-edge research, theory, and practice, and make substantive contributions to the future of intergroup relations. A unique feature of this issue is a set of commentaries by prominent scholars and practitioners in the fields of intergroup relations and education. Walter Stephan, James Banks, Thomas Pettigrew, and Patricia Gurin each reflect on the collection of articles through the lens of their own personal and professional biographies to help define the intersections of research, theory, and practice on intergroup relations.