Obama and Global Change in Perceptions of Group Status

George Ciccariello-Maher and Matthew W. Hughey

in The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735204
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894581 | DOI:

Series: Series in Political Psychology

Obama and Global Change in Perceptions of Group Status

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This chapter employs system justification theory to address both the potential and the dangers of Barack Obama’s election vis-à-vis systems of inequality beyond the borders of the United States. Focusing on examples from China and Venezuela, among others, this chapter seeks to asses, firstly, the potential for implicit racial debiasing and undermining of outgroup favoritism that Obama’s election would seem to promise; and secondly, the risk posed by the tendency toward rapid reorientation of system justification in the absence of significant structural change. While neither prevails uniformly over the other, this dual focus—on potential and dangers—can help us to better assess the potential impact of Obama’s election in specific local conditions marked by various, overlapping systems of inequality.

Keywords: Barack Obama; race in China; race in Venezuela; system justification theory; American exceptionalism; Lou Jing

Chapter.  10117 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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