Fact and evaluation in racist discourse revisited

Dixon, John and Taylor, Stephanie (2016). Fact and evaluation in racist discourse revisited. In: Tileagă, Cristian and Stokoe, Elizabeth eds. Discursive Psychology: Classic and contemporary issues. Explorations in Social Psychology. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 271–288.

URL: https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415721608


Jonathan Potter and Margaret Wetherell's 1988 paper, 'Accomplishing attitudes' has a triple significance. First, it is one of the foundational publications in the development of discursive psychology. Second, it is an early contribution to discursive research on racism. Third, the paper established a new way of understanding the concept of 'attitude'. This chapter aims to summarize, contextualize, and reappraise Potter and Wetherell's paper. We show how the paper transcended several limitations of mainstream work on race attitudes, offering an important new framework for exploring processes of racial evaluation. At the same time, we hold that it simplified some of the assumptions of traditional research on race attitudes and arguably underestimated some enduring contributions. The chapter also identifies some potential directions for future work in the discursive psychological tradition and some areas of possible integration with developments in the discipline's mainstream.

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