chapter  6
24 Pages

Is Racism Inevitable? Motivational Foundations of White Racial Attitudes

The powerfully disparaging attitudes with which many whites view blacks in our society are obviously a central element in the vicious circles that are the concern of this book. Many theories have evolved to explain these attitudes, and their implications for how to approach the task of extricating ourselves from those circles differ substantially. In this and the following chapter, I will examine a variety of ways of understanding the phenomena of racism and prejudice, both as they reflect a struggle with deeply seated needs and conflicts and as they derive from limitations in our cognitive capacity to come to grips with the complexity of our daily experiences with others.