need not be a barrier to reducing intergroup prejudice, if openness to interactions with members of other ethnic groups is also encouraged.
The final chapter, by Stuart Oskamp and James Jones, reports on a prestigious nationwide survey of programs directed at racial reconciliation. This survey was part of President Clinton's Initiative on Race, and it collected information about "promising practices for racial reconciliation" -- outstanding examples of both local community-based groups and national programs directed at improving racial and ethnic relations in the U.S. The report of the President's Initiative is not a scientific document, but it deserves attention and dissemination as a broad survey of the current status of practical, operating programs to improve race relations. Accordingly, this chapter summarizes facts about the programs described in the report, classifies them in various ways, and discusses their goals, the methods by which they aim to reach those goals, the psychological mechanisms apparently implied by their methods, and the degree to which their efforts have been professionally evaluated. Such community programs should profit from using the research findings and theoretical principles for reducing prejudice summarized in the present volume, and in turn their activities will provide new challenges to researchers to explain their effects and improve their procedures.
The theories and research findings summarized in this volume give ample evidence that there are many possible paths to reducing prejudice and discrimination between social groups -- and also that each path has potential pitfalls that must be avoided if prejudice-reduction efforts are to be successful. Though much meticulous research has been done in experimental laboratories, the full test of the efficacy of their findings is to apply them through careful intervention research in real-world intergroup situations and in community-wide programs. We need many more such applied studies in order to determine the value and the limits of our current theories of prejudice-reduction approaches. Toward this goal, the contributors to this volume hope that their efforts will lead to better methods and more far-reaching success in helping diverse social groups live together peacefully, productively, and pleasurably.
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Publication information: Book title: Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination. Contributors: Stuart Oskamp - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Mahwah, NJ. Publication year: 2000. Page number: 16.
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