Interethnic Ideology in Advertising:
A Social Psychological Perspective
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Charles M. Judd
University of Colorado
University of Chicago
Concerns about ethnic diversity and the problems of interethnic conflict have always been a part of our socialheritage. However, in recent decades, dramatic technological advances and population growthhave placedhumans into greater contact with one another and, in some sense, have madeourfates more interdependent. Cultural groupsare becoming less and less isolated from one another, and the intersection of very different customs and belief systems isnow commonplace. In the United States, wearecurrently experiencing a heightened awareness of the increasing level of contact between diverse ethnicgroups. Some estimate that by themiddle of the 21st century, the majority of Americans will trace the ir origins to “Africa, Asia, the Hispanic world, the Pacific Islands, Arabia—almost anywhere but white Europe” (Henry, 1990, p. 31). When combined with opinions and ideals that vary substantially between cultures, the se changing demographic s have the potentialfor creating tremendous chaos and conflict. Thus we must consider, for ourselves, for the waywenavigate our socialinter actions, and for the mannerin whichweconduct business, how to best address the demands of acomplex world composed of people from many different ethnic backgrounds.
Addressing ethnic diversityis perhapsa particularly thornyissue for those individuals and organizations involvedin the construction of social interventions—as are those who participate in the enterprise of advertising. We viewit As a difficult