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The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?$
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Gregory Parks and Matthew Hughey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735204.001.0001

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Obama’s Potential to Transform the Racial Attitudes of White Americans

Obama’s Potential to Transform the Racial Attitudes of White Americans

Chapter:
(p.245) Chapter 11 Obama’s Potential to Transform the Racial Attitudes of White Americans
Source:
The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?
Author(s):

John F. Dovidio

Samuel L. Gaertner

Tamar Saguy

Eric Hehman

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735204.003.0011

The election of Barack Obama as President of the United States can have profound impact, currently and into the future, on Whites’ racial attitudes by providing unprecedented virtual intergroup contact. The present chapter considers the extent and nature of contemporary racial attitudes and discusses how, drawing on fundamental psychological principles related to intergroup contact, Obama’s election can transform the internalized racial attitudes of Whites. We examine not only how, by virtue of his role as president, Obama can change the way Blacks are perceived but also how his rhetoric can shape the perceptions of race relations. We also explore the circumstances that can promote or limit President Obama’s effectiveness and positive impact on race relations.

Keywords:   common ingroup identity model, contact theory, extended contact, intergroup contact, intergroup relations, prejudice, racism, social identity

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