Group Dominance and the Half-Blindness of Privilege
Two psychological reasons that powerful groups are socially privileged are (1) powerful groups are culturally and mentally normalized, which disguises their privilege as "normal" while highlighting inferiority and stereotypes about other groups, and (2) affiliating with own-groups and promoting their power are more psychologically compatible for dominant groups than for subordinated groups. Prior research concerning social categories defined by gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and race is summarized to illustrate how social category norms focus people's attention away from powerful groups and their privileges. The present research shows that, for race, gender, class, and sexual orientation in the U.S., own group membership is more salient, and works less well in promoting own group power and group dominance for members of subordinated than of dominant groups. Implications for why group privilege is not mutually recognized by dominant and subordinated groups, and for how this may translate into support for different social policies are discussed. © 2012 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Journal of Social Issues
privilege, power, stereotypes, social norms
Pratto, Felicia and Stewart, Andrew L., "Group Dominance and the Half-Blindness of Privilege" (2012). Psychology. 625.