Psychology

Structural whitening

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Science  30 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6541, pp. 477-478
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6541.477-g

As the US population becomes more racially diverse, it is unclear how ethnic white populations will respond to these demographic changes. Anicich et al. found experimentally that when white Americans were given the opportunity to populate fictional cities, they imposed greater racial segregation in areas that they frequented more often, such as work or school, because they feel greater anxiety around non-whites. In a follow-up study, the authors examined policies at tennis and golf clubs across the United States, and found that in areas with higher racial diversity, clubs engaged in more exclusionary behavior, such as enacting strict dress codes. These findings suggest that as racial diversity increases, white Americans may respond by trying to structure their environment in more segregated ways.

J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 95, 104117 (2021).

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