Accents, Nonverbal Behavior, and Intergroup Bias

Authored by: John F. Dovidio , Agata Gluszek

The Handbook of Intergroup Communication

Print publication date:  May  2012
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415889643
eBook ISBN: 9780203148624
Adobe ISBN: 9781136513619

10.4324/9780203148624.ch7

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Abstract

Intergroup bias is a pervasive phenomenon. It occurs within and across all cultures and across time (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999). Although cultural, historical, and political forces shape particular instantiations of intergroup relations and bias, in this chapter we focus primarily on general processes representing the psychological foundations of bias. Language, for example, is one basic identifier of group membership. It reveals whether people belong to the same or different groups and immediately assigns a person to a particular group, arousing relevant attitudes and stereotypes. In general, people are suspicious of (Lev-Ari & Keysar, 2010) and respond negatively to others who speak a different language (for a review, see Gluszek & Dovidio, 2010a), even when what is said is translated into their own language (Stephan & Stephan, 1986). Our emphasis, though, is not directly on the content or structure of language or verbal communication (see Chapter 8, this volume) but, rather, on the cues that often accompany these expressions, specifically on accents and nonverbal behavior.

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