Paper in Australian Psychologist
- White, F. A., Harvey, L., & Verrelli, S. (2015). Including both voices: a new bidirectional framework for understanding and improving intergroup relations (invited contribution). Australian Psychologist, 50, 421- 433.
If successful intergroup harmony is to be achieved between two groups, then both groups’ voices must be heard. Despite this, 60 years of social psychological “intergroup” prejudice research has tended to adopt a solely majority-centric perspective, with the majority group portrayed as the active agent of prejudice, and the minority group as passive targets.
This paper critically reviews relevant literature, highlighting this unidirectional imbalance, and proposes a new, two-stage bidirectional framework, where we encourage researchers and educators to first understand how minority and majority groups’ intergroup attitudes and emotions impact intergroup dynamics, before tailoring and implementing contact and recategorisation strategies to improve intergroup relations, nationally and internationally.
We argue that the interactive nature of the intergroup dynamic needs to be better understood, and each group’s voice heard, before prejudice can be effectively reduced. Lastly, we describe an Australian study, the Dual Identity and Electronic-contact (DIEC) programme, that has been conducted and has successfully applied this bidirectional framework.