Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Predictors of “the last acceptable racism”: Group threats and public attitudes toward Gypsies and Travellers

Abstract

Prejudice against Gypsies/Travellers is prevalent in the United Kingdom and elsewhere but there is a lack of research investigating the underlying factors. The present research examined the relationships between different types of intergroup threats and their antecedents and U.K. residents' attitudes toward Gypsies/Travellers. Regression analyses confirmed that negative stereotypes, symbolic threats, and intergroup anxiety predicted attitudes, whereas multicultural ideology endorsement, ingroup identification, realistic threats, and intergroup anxiety predicted support for Gypsy/Traveller group rights. Moreover, multicultural ideology endorsement predicted support for group rights indirectly through realistic threats, whereas negative stereotypes predicted attitudes indirectly through symbolic threats and intergroup anxiety and predicted support for group rights indirectly through realistic threats and intergroup anxiety. Discussion focuses on the implications for strategies aimed at reducing what is often defined as “the last acceptable racism.”

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