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And the US Census Bureau projects that the national population of non-White racial groups will exceed that of Whites before the middle of this century.
To examine the effect this shift may have on White Americans’ racial attitudes, Maureen Craig of New York University and Past APS Board Member Jennifer Richeson of Northwestern University set up an experiment to determine whether making this majority–minority shift salient to White participants would increase their pro-White and/or antiminority feelings.
They first primed participants with either an article about the aforementioned Census Bureau’s projections or an article about racial demographics, then measured subjects’ explicit racial bias with the Evaluative Bias Scale.
What does it mean to be all-American when Whites no longer represent that majority? Huo of the University of California, Los Angeles, explored this question in a study published in 2015.
Across two studies involving White American adults recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk, they asked participants questions designed to measure their attitudes toward ethnic diversity and cultural assimilation.
According to power threat theory, the majority responds to these status threats by creating or tightening state control in racialized ways; one example is the support for intensifying immigration laws.
In the United States, that support primarily has targeted Mexicans.Results showed that the higher White Australians scored on authoritarian beliefs, the more signs of prejudice they showed toward Asian Australians.But of particular significance was that Whites who viewed their status as high but unstable and porous showed the strongest anti-Asian bias, particularly when they felt their privileged position to be deserved.In Greece and Spain, animosity toward foreign-born residents — particularly Muslims — has been stoked by massive unemployment.And many Singaporeans have been complaining about foreign workers putting a strain on housing, jobs, and infrastructure.As they expected, Danbold and Huo found that Whites who viewed their racial group as prototypically American, and who felt threatened by their numerical decline in the population, were the most resistant to diversity and were most likely to want people from other cultures to assimilate.In a second experiment, also employing Mechanical Turk, Danbold and Huo found that simply showing White participants information about their relative population decrease lowered their endorsement of diversity — especially when they viewed their status as prototypical Americans as under threat.In Study 1, participants indicated the extent to which they expected the racial makeup of the US population to change between the present and 2050.They also were asked to rate their feelings about their status as prototypical Americans and about how much other ethnic groups should adopt American values.In his 1970 recording “Space Captain,” Joe Cocker sent out a message of cross-cultural peace when he sang the lyrics “learning to live together ’til we die.” Recent social research indicates that coexistence with our out-groups has never been more critical.The United Kingdom is on track to become the most ethnically mixed country in the Western world in fewer than 40 years, according to the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford.