Included But Invisible? Subtle Bias, Common Identity, and the Darker Side of “We”

The present article discusses how seemingly well-intended policies and interventions to reduce intergroup bias by emphasizing colorblindness through overarching commonalities between groups may, either unintentionally or strategically, inhibit efforts to address group-based inequities. First, we discuss the roots of bias in social categorization process, and how changing the way people think about group memberships from separate groups to members of the same group with shared identity improves intergroup attitudes. Second, we describe the subtle nature of contemporary biases, which can help obscure group-based inequities. Third, we explain how and why majority and minority groups may have different preferences for recategorization and consider the potential consequences of these different perspectives for recognizing and addressing disparity and discrimination. We conclude by considering the policy and structural implications of these processes for achieving more equitable societies, not only in principle but also in practice.

Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Ufkes, E. G., Saguy, T., & Pearson, A. R. (2016). Included but Invisible? Subtle Bias, Common Identity, and the Darker Side of “We.” Social Issues and Policy Review, 10, 6–46.

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