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Transcending Racial BarriersToward a Mutual Obligations Approach$
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Michael O. Emerson and George Yancey

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199742684

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199742684.001.0001

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Addressing Group Interest

Addressing Group Interest

(p.91) Chapter 7 Addressing Group Interest
Transcending Racial Barriers

Michael O. Emerson

George Yancey

Oxford University Press

Marriage counselors attempt to help couples overcome their problems by getting each spouse to see the other's perspective—putting themselves in the other's shoes, listen to their spouse, and take positive steps to change the situation. Racial groups are in a marriage, too. Their marriage is the shared society. Like the people that comprise them, racial groups are selfish. We call it “group interest.” To move forward, the racial groups need “marriage” counseling. Listening to those of other racial groups is merely a start. This chapter examines how the failure of whites and people of color to consider the interest of other racial groups has led to the solutions of majority- and minority-group obligations. It discusses research concerning multiracial families, integrated congregations, and the military. Doing so provides insight into the processes and rewards of developing an other-oriented racial perspective. A key reward is the development of interracial relationships that allow for honest interracial communication. This chapter first considers ethnocentrism and group interest and then proceeds to provide majority- and minority-group examples of ethnocentrism.

Keywords:   racial groups, group interest, ethnocentrism, interracial communication, multiracial families, integrated congregations, military, obligations

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