Threatened identities and interethnic interactions

J. Nicole Shelton, Jennifer A. Richeson, Jacquie D. Vorauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


This chapter adopts a social identity threat perspective to examine dynamics of interethnic interactions. We first review relevant literature regarding the conditions under which both White and ethnic minority individuals are likely to experience social identity threat within the specific context of interethnic interactions. We focus on the threat of being perceived as stereotypical of one's ethnic group, considering situation- and person-level factors that trigger the experience of such threat during interethnic interactions. Next, we offer a framework for understanding how individuals cope with social identity threat during interethnic interactions, proposing three main classes of responses: avoidance, outgroup devaluation/derogation, and behaviour modulation/regulation. We review factors that are likely to influence the adoption of one of these responses, and then consider potential implications that each type of response may have for individuals' experiences during interactions, the development of interethnic friendships, and the attenuation of prejudice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-358
Number of pages38
JournalEuropean Review of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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