Social groups are often described as hierarchically ordered in terms of social status. Intergroup research has generally focused on the relationship between the highest-status group and a single lower-status group, leaving relationships among nondominant groups relatively unexplored. Focusing on low-status Black and intermediate-status Coloured (multiracial) South African elementary school-children, we examined the attitudes members of these two groups hold toward one another and toward a range of other locally salient groups, as well as their wealth-related stereotypes and preferences. Results indicated that both Coloured and Black children implicitly preferred Coloured over Black, and also strongly associated Coloured (vs. Black) with wealth, suggesting a powerful tendency to internalize the status quo. However, Black children exhibited stronger preferences for other social groups, as well as stronger preferences for wealth in general, possibly as a means of compensating for their devalued status in the domain of race. Implications for theories of intergroup attitudes are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology