Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 19 Issue 6 (November/December 2009), Pages 393-520

Emotional reactions, coping and long‐term consequences of perceived discrimination among the Mapuche people of Chile (pages 473-491)


Although a substantial body of research has now documented the negative mental and physical health impacts of discrimination on various minority/non‐dominant groups, little has been reported on the impacts of such discrimination on indigenous populations. In this study, we investigated the self‐reported emotional reactions, coping responses and long‐term impacts of discriminatory experiences among 50 Mapuche adults in Chile. The limited literature suggests that a substantial proportion of the Chilean majority society is prejudiced and discriminatory towards the indigenous Mapuche population, and that the Mapuche experience discrimination. Interviews with participants indicated that discrimination was psychologically wounding, and aroused anger, undifferentiated bad feelings, shame and a sense of powerlessness. Participants responded with self‐protective, self‐controlled or confronting actions. Although negative long‐term effects were reported, ethnic re‐affirmation and strengthening of bonds within the Mapuche community were positive outcomes that seem to provide resilience for the participants. This does not discount however, the need for more research assessing the impacts of discrimination in Chile nor the need for anti‐discrimination measures to be implemented. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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