Racial Attitudes among Asian and European American College Students: A Cross-Cultural Examination

By Smith, Timothy B.; Bowman, Raquel et al. | College Student Journal, June 2007 | Go to article overview

Racial Attitudes among Asian and European American College Students: A Cross-Cultural Examination


Smith, Timothy B., Bowman, Raquel, Hsu, Sungti, College Student Journal


College campuses are becoming increasingly racially diverse and may provide an optimal setting for the reduction of racial stereotypes and prejudices perpetuated in society. To better understand racism among college students, this study evaluated the attitudes of Asian and White European Americans toward several racial out-groups. Participants completed a survey containing the Social Distance Scale, and differences between participants' ratings of their own race were contrasted with their ratings of other races. Findings revealed strong preferences for social affiliations with members of their same racial background, with attitudes towards out-groups differing as a function of the race of the participant. Asians were much more likely to feel comfortable socializing with Whites than Whites were with Asians. Continued research regarding cross-cultural differences in inter-group relations on college campuses is encouraged.

**********

Racial diversity on college campuses has increased over the past several decades, with overt racial conflicts giving way to more subtle tensions (e.g., Sydell & Nelson, 2000). Although overt racism is no longer commonplace, contemporary colleges and universities tend to have institutional cultures that deny or minimize racial inequities, pressure students of color to assimilate to White culture, maintain racial hierarchies, superficially address racial issues, and resist addressing genuine diversity (Corcoran & Thompson, 2004). This kind of climate benefits students who comply with the racial status quo but negatively impacts the academic success of racial minority students (van Laar, Sidanius, Rabinowitz, & Sinclair, 1999). Even though institutions of higher learning are becoming more demographically diverse, racial tensions and inequities may continue to affect some college students.

College students' experiences of racial issues differ substantially across race (e.g., Buttny, 1997). For White students from racially homogeneous backgrounds, enrollment in a demographically diverse university may represent their first meaningful exposure to multiculturalism. This encounter with racial diversity can either diminish or solidify racial stereotypes that White students have regarding other racial groups (e.g., Helms, 1990; Pettigrew, 1998). Oppositely, for college students from historically oppressed racial groups, colleges and universities may represent the institutionalization of White culture, not necessarily reflecting their values nor rewarding their contributions. Students of color often feel alienated and mistreated on predominantly White college campuses (Foster, 2005).

Given these dynamics among students from different racial backgrounds, it is not surprising that students may experience racial tension in some large public universities (Coopwood, 2000). However, what is surprising is that these tensions may be increasing over time (McCormack, 1995) in a possible reversal of the trend for diminished racial tensions in previous decades. Research into racial attitudes of college students can improve understanding regarding contemporary racial dynamics and therefore inform interventions designed to improve interracial relations on campus.

For many reasons, research regarding racism has focused on the power and privileges of White European Americans (e.g., Smith, 2004). Although much of this research has been in contrast to Blacks/African Americans (Hall, 2002), few research studies have examined the racial attitudes of other racial groups such as Asians and Latinos (Kohatsu et al., 2000). Characterizing racism in terms of Black/White relations avoids some harmful misconceptions (i.e., blaming historically oppressed racial groups for racial biases actually perpetuated and reinforced by White sociopolitical systems), but it does not provide an accurate picture of interracial relations, particularly on multicultural college campuses. Specifically, portraying racism as a Black/White dichotomy reifies "the rhetoric of hierarchy within a single species and in fact provides a conduit for the continued social, economic, and political oppression of all" (Hall, 2002, p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Racial Attitudes among Asian and European American College Students: A Cross-Cultural Examination
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.