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Aversive Racism

Definition

Aversive racism is a form of contemporary racism that, in contrast to the traditional form, operates unconsciously in subtle and indirect ways. Aversive racists regard themselves as nonprejudiced but, at the same time, harbor negative feelings and beliefs about members of minority groups. Aversive racism was originally hypothesized to characterize the attitudes of many welleducated and liberal Whites in the United States, toward Blacks, but the basic principles apply to the attitudes of members of dominant groups toward minority groups in other countries with strong contemporary egalitarian values but discriminatory histories or policies. Despite its subtle expression, aversive racism has resulted in significant and pernicious consequences, in many ways paralleling the effects of traditional, overt racism (e.g., in the restriction of economic opportunity).

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