By Nicholas J. G. Winter
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Extra info for Dangerous Frames: How Ideas about Race and Gender Shape Public Opinion (Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion)
38 american race and gender schemas Moreover, American society is starkly segregated racially, and racial groups are relatively economically and socially independent of each other (Massey and Denton 1993). As I discuss above, this physical and social separation reinforces the idea of group diΩerence. It also facilitates the development of a sense of zero-sum competition between groups, in which gains by one group are seen as necessarily entailing losses for the other. Third, the perception of zero-sum competition between “us” and “them” leads to hostility and negative emotions between the groups.
Moreover, racial categories themselves are constructed very diΩerently, with much more ﬂexibility and diversity—the “single drop” rule that deﬁnes as black anyone with any black heritage is uniquely American. Much debate surrounds the antecedents of these diΩerences, with analysts drawing attention to historical diΩerences in demographics, economics, the organization of slavery, political action, religion, and democratic ideals (Freyre, Putnam, and Hendrickson 1946; Tannenbaum 1946; Omi and Winant 1994; Winant 2001; Marx 1998; Degler 1971; for a helpful though somewhat dated review of this literature, see Drimmer 1979).
This schematic inﬂuence happens without the people noticing the eΩect of their racial predispositions; moreover, it happens without them even being aware of the priming, which can be done subliminally (Greenwald and Banaji 1995). Schemas, then, are the cognitive structures that contain our knowledge about concepts. These structures play an active role in our perception of phenomena and, in so doing, can inﬂuence our understanding and evaluation of those phenomena. Our schemas aΩect perceptions of people and situations, but they do this unconsciously, so we are not aware of their eΩects.
Dangerous Frames: How Ideas about Race and Gender Shape Public Opinion (Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion) by Nicholas J. G. Winter