Listening to Each Other

Michael O. Emerson and George Yancey

in Transcending Racial Barriers

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199742684
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199943388 | DOI:
Listening to Each Other

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It is a simple, but often overlooked fact: a solution to improving race relations in the United States has to be accepted by both majority- and minority-group members. Solutions that fail to achieve a sufficient level of support from all groups simply cannot be successfully implemented or sustained. For this reason, we must assess multiracial social institutions that have addressed the interests of both majority- and minority-group members. This chapter first looks at the contact hypothesis to identify multiracial social institutions that allow us to learn how individuals of different races have confronted racial hostility and racial alienation. It then discusses research on these specific social institutions and what lessons can be gleaned from them. To be specific, these multiracial institutions hold promise for helping us construct a more holistic solution to racial inequality, division, and alienation. The chapter examines the promise of interracial contact, fears connected to interracial contact, and how productive interracial contact can be sustained.

Keywords: United States; race relations; interracial contact; multiracial social institutions; racial hostility; racial alienation; racial inequality

Chapter.  6922 words. 

Subjects: Race and Ethnicity

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