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The Struggle for the Nature of “Prejudice”: “Prejudice” Expression as Identity Performance

Durrheim, Kevin; Quayle, Mike and Dixon, John (2016). The Struggle for the Nature of “Prejudice”: “Prejudice” Expression as Identity Performance. Political Psychology, 37(1) pp. 17–35.

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This article develops an identity performance model of prejudice that highlights the creative influence of prejudice expressions on norms and situations. Definitions of prejudice can promote social change or stability when they are used to achieve social identification, explanation, and mobilization. Tacit or explicit agreement about the nature of prejudice is accomplished collaboratively by persuading others to accept (1) an abstract definition of “prejudice,” (2) concrete exemplars of “prejudice,” and (3) associated beliefs about how a target group should be treated. This article reviews three ways in which “prejudice” can be defined in the cut and thrust of social interaction, namely, by mobilizing hatred and violence, by accusation and denial, and by repression. The struggle for the nature of prejudice determines who can be badly treated and by whom. Studying such ordinary struggles to define what counts (and does not count) as “prejudice” will allow us to understand how identities are produced, norms are set into motion, and populations are mobilized as social relations are reformulated.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 International Society of Political Psychology
ISSN: 1467-9221
Keywords: prejudice; identity performance; discourse; denial; social identity theory
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 48459
Depositing User: John Dixon
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2018 10:18
Last Modified: 01 May 2019 13:05
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