We would like to thank Kelly Anthony, Stephanie Rogers, Andrea Romero, Renée Feltz, Michelle Van Arsdall, Yen Chau, Parul Patel, and Aimee James for their help in data collection and entry. We also extend our thanks to Jodi Edmonds and Karen Hobbs for their help in preparing the manuscript. Finally, we would also like to thank the two anonymous reviewers and Dr. Andrew Baum for their helpful comments. The present research was supported, in part, by a grant to Yolanda Flores Niemann from the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston and was based on a graduate thesis supervised by the second author.
Black and White Tokens in Academia: A Difference of Chronic Versus Acute Distinctiveness1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 28, Issue 11, pages 954–972, June 1998
How to Cite
Pollak, K. I. and Niemann, Y. F. (1998), Black and White Tokens in Academia: A Difference of Chronic Versus Acute Distinctiveness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 28: 954–972. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1998.tb01662.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Token status effects, also called distinctiveness, include feelings of racial/gender awareness, representativeness, and accountability. In this multimethod three-part research, it is argued that Black students in a predominantly White university feel chronically distinctive, whereas White students may feel acutely distinctive when they are in the numerical minority. However, this acute distinctiveness is situation specific. First a pilot study confirmed that Black and White females differ in their reports of distinctiveness. Study 1 showed that Black students feel chronically distinctive and that they are often “solos” in classrooms. Study 2 tried to separate race and solo status effects on distinctiveness by experimentally manipulating group solo status. Results indicate a main effect for solo status and also a main effect for race on feelings of distinctiveness across solo conditions. Applications of this research for the token literature and for distinctiveness theory are discussed.