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Open Access

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Master of Science (M.S.)

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ethnic, minority, prejudice, categorization


Traditionally, the discourse on race relations in the U.S. has focused on relations between Whites and ethnic minorities, with little being known about the antecedents and consequences of inter-minority prejudice. This paper will present results from two studies that were conducted with Asian, Black, and Latino undergraduate students, assessing motivations to embrace a collective identity with ethnic minorities (versus express prejudice towards other ethnic minority groups). Blacks,’ Asians’, and Latinos’ ethnic group identification, as well their identification with a superordinate "people of color" (POC) category were assessed. POC identification was found to be closely aligned with one's political beliefs (e.g., perceptions that the system is unjust, and that racial minorities face discrimination in the U.S.) For Asian participants, POC identification predicted more positive attitudes towards other ethnic minority groups perceived to face similar discrimination in the U.S. (e.g., Latinos and Blacks.) However, Blacks' identification as POC actually predicted negative attitudes towards Asians, who were not seen as facing the same barriers to upward mobility as other racial minority groups in the U.S. The results indicate that the politics of POC identification might actually contribute to increased tension between ethnic minorities in the U.S.; implications for more effecting coalition building between racial minorities in the U.S. are also discussed in this paper.


First Advisor

Brian Lickel