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Amanda B. Diekman, Alice H. Eagly & Amanda M. Johnston

In: The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping and Discrimination

Chapter 13: Social Structure

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Social Structure
Social structure

In this chapter, we examine prejudice as resulting from social cognitive elements, such as attitudes and stereotypes, and social structural elements, such as roles and contexts. After reviewing classic treatments of social-structural influences on prejudice, we examine challenges to traditional explanations of prejudice. We then propose a new framework in which prejudice stems from incongruity between individuals’ roles and the stereotypes associated with their group memberships (e.g., gender, age, ethnicity). In this role congruity model of prejudice, the fundamental principle is that prejudice results from individuals’ stereotype-based misalignment with the social roles that they occupy or are vying to occupy. Finally, this integrative perspective has numerous benefits for research and theory on prejudice.

Social Structure

The decades since Allport (1954/1979) published his classic analysis ...

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