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Article Review - Is Obama's Win a Gain for Blacks?

Essay by   •  February 28, 2011  •  Article Review  •  416 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,377 Views

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Stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination are all factors that shape and maintain our behavior and attitudes towards other people and our surroundings. Stereotypes are beliefs or thoughts about the characteristics of a certain group. Prejudice is affective, and it is our feelings towards certain people, because of their membership in a particular group. Discrimination is behavioral and is biased behaviors towards people according to their group membership. In the presidential elections of 2008, Barack Obama was the first African American candidate to win the election. This election made history, and raised several questions and concerns regarding race relations in the United States.

In the article I chose, titled, "Is Obama's Win a Gain for Blacks?" the author writes about changes in implicit racial prejudice after the election. He explains about prior prejudices people have towards African Americans, and if after the election people's outlook towards African Americans have changed. According to the author, explicit prejudice can easily be controlled, and implicit prejudice is also subject to change but is relatively slow compared to explicit prejudice.

By using positive and negative exemplars and linking those with blacks and whites show the outcomes of people's explicit and implicit prejudices. The author says that "stereotypes and prejudices are incredibly resistant to change, and counter-stereotypic exemplars are often subtyped from the superordinate group, resulting in the maintenance of previously held stereotypes and prejudices". People's perceptions towards others that belong in other racial groups have a strong effect on their attitudes towards them, in any situation.

Through out history, there has always been a negative stigma towards African Americans. The study conducted, was used to explain if exposure to a positive exemplar, in this case, Barack Obama in the presidential elections, would change people's attitudes they have towards African Americans. There could be a positive explicit attitude changes, as well as an implicit change. Or people can just use sub-typing, which is a technique we use to separate certain people from their ordinary group. This will result to no change in implicit or explicit attitudes.

Overall, after the election and the historic victory of the first African American President of the United States, the results of this election show positive influence on implicit attitudes towards African Americans. Not only was Obama elected for the highest position in the nation but the impact of his presidential campaign and the involvement in high levels of exposure to a positive, counter-stereotypic Black exemplar, helped change the implicit attitudes people held towards African Americans.

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