Diminishing Vertical Distance: Power and Social Status as Barriers to Intergroup Reconciliation

Lasana T. Harris, Susan T. Fiske

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


This chapter argues that social emotions derived from power and perceived social status generate a skewed perception of the out-group, resulting in residual negative affect and the creation of a vertical distance, which in turn hinders intergroup reconciliation. Literature within social psychology that describes intergroup power as outcome control, as well as models of intergroup emotions that establish residual negative affect, are reviewed. The literature on perceptions of out-groups that create an immutable vertical distance are then considered. Finally, some possible solutions and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Social Psychology of Intergroup Reconciliation
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199868698
ISBN (Print)9780195300314
StatePublished - May 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


  • Intergroup relations
  • Out-group
  • Power
  • Reconciliation
  • Residual negative affect
  • Social status
  • Vertical distance


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