The Idea of Racial Hierarchy Remains Entrenched in Americans’ Psyches

Pacific Standard:

Remember all that talk about how the United States is becoming a post-racial society? New research throws cold water on the concept, suggesting that, at least on an unconscious level, Americans retain their belief in a race-based hierarchy.

In a large-scale study measuring implicit judgments, Americans—not surprisingly—showed a strong liking for their own racial group. But beyond that bias, their answers revealed a consistent set of racial rankings, with whites being most associated with positive thoughts, followed by Asians.

Surprisingly, African-Americans did not end up at the bottom of the list. It appears that unfortunate place has now been reserved in our collective psyches for Hispanics.

The research team, led by University of Virginia psychologist Jordan Axt, found similar hierarchies for religion (with Christianity receiving the most positive associations) and age (the same goes for children). Their study, published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests that if you are an older, Hispanic Muslim, you’re at the bottom of the social ladder.

Read the whole story: Pacific Standard

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