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date: 07 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Early research on intergroup contact in social psychology had a clear social change agenda. Authors like Clark and Allport directly addressed themes of power and inequality as they studied the effects of contact to support desegregation activism in the United States. During the subsequent decades the focus on inequality, power, and social change was replaced with the quest for a generalized theory of prejudice reduction. This chapter shows how this change in focus took place; it considers the ways in which some contact research continues to ignore social justice concerns today; and it reflects on the effects of this focus. Finally, the chapter sketches—in broad outline—a model of the way intergroup contact functions to reproduce social situations and the experiences of people who participate in these situations.

Keywords: intergroup contact, power, experience, prejudice, desegregation, social change

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