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Prejudiced Communication : A Social Psychological Perspective - Janet B. Ruscher

Prejudiced Communication

A Social Psychological Perspective

Hardcover Published: 1st April 2001
ISBN: 9781572306387
Number Of Pages: 236

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Prejudiced communication is everywhere. Sexist jokes are transmitted over the Internet, coworkers tell outrageous stories about cross-cultural interactions, and children observe their parents' disgusted facial expressions as a target of prejudice passes along the street. What functions do these forms of communication serve for individuals, groups, and entire cultures? How do they contribute to the perpetuation of discrimination and status differences based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other stigmatized attributes? And what can be done to reduce prejudiced communication and mitigate its harmful effects? This volume provides a comprehensive examination of these and other questions of critical importance for today's society. Bringing together current theory, empirical research, and real-life examples, it is essential reading for scholars and students in a range of disciplines.

The book first defines key terms and introduces several functions served by prejudiced communication, including the protection of established social hierarchies and the maintenance of "cognitive shortcuts." It explores how language reflects categorizations of ingroups and outgroups, and how shared stereotypes are encoded and transmitted. Subsequent chapters address ways that prejudice is subtly or blatantly communicated in interpersonal interactions, including patronizing and controlling speech, discriminatory nonverbal behavior, and disdain for nonstandard accents or dialects. Next, the book examines the larger cultural context, discussing such topics as skewed portrayals in the news media, entertainment, and advertising; hostile humor; and continued legal tolerance of hate speech. Featured throughout are thought-provoking examples drawn from the classroom, the workplace, and other everyday situations. A concluding chapter summarizes major themes of the book and points toward empirical and theoretical gaps that invite further investigation.

Grounded in a social psychological perspective, the book also incorporates ideas and findings from communication, sociology, and related fields. It is an informative resource for anyone interested in prejudice and stereotyping, and an indispensable text for advanced undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

Industry Reviews

'This book is a 'must have' for researchers and students who are interested in contemporary theories of prejudice. The book contains a massive amount of useful information about the social transmission and cultural impact of prejudice. It is well organized and filled with engaging examples of how we (explicitly and implicitly) share our prejudices with others. In addition to being a good read, this is a scholarly and complete reference work - an outstanding source of information about such topics as sexist humor, media stereotypes, and hateful speech. For almost any reader, this book is likely to add to their understanding of this important topic to provide inspiration for their work.' - Charles Stangor, PhD, University of Maryland 'Timely, thorough, and very interesting. The breadth of coverage is impressive, ranging from the expressions that people share in informal conversation to the choices that media managers make in television news coverage....Readers will learn a lot not only about interpersonal communication processes, but also about the underlying cognitive processes that influence communication. This book will be a terrifically useful reference for psychologists, as well as scholars in communication, media studies, and sociology. I can't think of a better sourcebook on this domain of scholarly research. It will also serve as an ideal primary text for any graduate or advanced undergraduate psychology course on communication and prejudice, and a great supplemental text for a range of other courses.' - Mark Schaller, PhD, University of British Columbia 'This is an engaging overview of the way prejudice is communicated from person to person, as well as from the mass media to the public. Ruscher reviews research from several disciplines (including experimental social psychology and communication sciences) to examine such questions as how stereotypes come to be shared, and how prejudice is communicated by nonverbal as well as verbal behavior. The volume will be useful to those who research prejudice, stereotyping, and mass communication in outlining the next useful set of questions for our fields. I can't wait to use this book in my next undergraduate seminar in stereotyping or prejudice.' - Felicia Pratto, PhD, University of Connecticut

Introduction: The What and Why of Prejudiced Communicationp. 1
What Is Prejudiced Communication?p. 1
The Functions of Prejudiced Communicationp. 5
Chapter Summaryp. 13
Language That Dividesp. 15
Language as Represented Thoughtp. 15
Representation of Outgroup Membersp. 17
Chapter Summaryp. 43
Developing and Using Shared Stereotypesp. 44
What Are Shared Stereotypes?p. 45
Mechanisms for Developing Shared Stereotypesp. 49
Stereotype Transmissionp. 63
Shared Stereotypes and Group Decision Makingp. 72
Chapter Summaryp. 79
Talking Down to Outgroup Membersp. 80
Patronizing Talkp. 81
Performance Feedbackp. 93
Chapter Summaryp. 104
Preferred Cultural Patterns and Nonverbal Behaviorp. 105
"Standard" Interaction Patternsp. 106
The Nonverbal Communication of Prejudicep. 120
Chapter Summaryp. 135
The News Mediap. 137
Portrayal of Outgroups by the News Mediap. 138
Whence the Differential Portrayals?p. 158
Potential Impact of the News Mediap. 165
Chapter Summaryp. 172
The Culture of Prejudicep. 173
Advertisingp. 174
Visual Entertainment: Television and Filmp. 181
Group-Targeted Humorp. 188
Hate Speechp. 194
Chapter Summaryp. 200
Afterword: What Is Known and What Is Unknownp. 202
Major Themesp. 202
What Next?p. 205
Conclusionp. 209
Referencesp. 211
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781572306387
ISBN-10: 1572306386
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 236
Published: 1st April 2001
Publisher: Guilford Publications
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.2 x 15.2  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.53