From C. P. Ellis to School Integration: The Social Psychology of Conflict Reduction

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Abstract

In this article, the authors review social psychological theories of intergroup conflict reduction. Emphasis is placed on three interrelated social conditions which facilitate conflict reduction: intergroup contact, superordinate goals, and shared identities. Bridging experimental research with real-world studies of schooling, these concepts are applied to understanding the process of school integration. Social contexts which present conflicting parties with a new shared goal and identity, as well as opportunities to become familiar with others beyond stereotypes and anxious reactions, dramatically increase the likelihood of diffusing conflict.

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