This chapter deals with efforts to apply social-psychological theories of group conflict and of prejudice to an understanding of the nature and consequences of contemporary racial attitudes. It focuses on two theories that have grown primarily out of the survey research literature and that have a fairly direct concern with the gap between principles and implementation: realistic group conflict and symbolic racism. The chapter suggests that a core problem touched on in a broad range of social-psychologically oriented research on race is the problem of resistance to more profound forms of racial change. It provides a theoretical framework for understanding the place of group conflict in intergroup belief systems. Contemporary research on the growing complexity and subtlety of racial attitudes would benefit from a balanced concern with societal and personality factors. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of integrating the group-conflict-versus-prejudice debate into a more complex framework that recognizes the several approaches.