This chapter suggests that the concept of system-justification is necessary to address adequately the social functions of stereotyping. It discusses the possibility that stereotypic justifications may operate implicitly. The chapter argues that social identity theory's ability to account for phenomena such as the societal consensuality of stereotype contents is indeed limited. It also argues that justification of the status quo frequently appears to outweigh the individual's defense of group interests. The chapter seeks to develop the argument that stereotypes serve ideological functions, and that they explain the poverty or pow- erlessness of some groups and the success of others in ways that make these differences seem legitimate and even natural. It shows that the individual will sometimes adopt a "system-justifying" stance whereby an existing state of affairs is preserved "at all costs." The chapter explains the tendency for people to infer stereotypic attributes directly from information about status or position, mainly in order to justify differences in status or position.