Stodolska, M. (2005) 'A Conditioned Attitude Model of Individual Discriminatory Behaviour', in Leisure Sciences, 27: 1 - 20.
This is an attempt to draw upon existing psychological theories [most of which are unknown to me] to develop a kind of combined model. It seems to have three stages: (a) the derivation of beliefs; (b) the combination of these beliefs with current information to develop attitudes; (c) the weighing up of consequences and the choice of optimal forms of behaviour. [It looks rather like a model used to assess the effects of violent video games -- the GAAM -- see file]. The model is applied to racial discrimination here particularly, and might be particularly suitable to understand leisure contexts.
Discrimination, or the expectation of it, is a major factor in both choosing and participating in leisure, as a sizable amount of literature reveals (listed pages 1, 2). In some areas of the USA there is an effective racial exclusiveness in some areas, based on a shared set of tacit rules about 'belonging and acceptance' (2). This is a powerful factor which is often discounted. A proper model of racial discrimination is needed, especially for leisure. It should be synthetic and interdisciplinary, and include both exogenous and internal factors. The model can be applied to any kind of discrimination, but 'race' is considered here.
Racist behaviour arises from 'underlying prejudicial feelings' (3). Discriminatory action, usually in a negative form, can follow [the brief discussion of types of discriminatory action looks a bit like a simple version of Lukes on power]. Attitudes can be acquired in different ways, and can also be classified as different types. A substantial review of the background literature shows the possibilities (5 - 7). There is no immediate connection between attitudes and behaviour, however. In particular, there are a number of motives for discrimination including the pursuit of economic advantage, e.g. in housing or in wage discrimination. Actual discrimination follows from a combination of personality, value systems, and 'institutional reinforcement' (4).
Discriminatory behaviour can be seen as at the end of a 'decision making process by the perpetrator' (8). It follows that we need to draw on psychological theories of decision making, but also understand social conditions which can prevent or reinforce actual behaviour [details of psychological theories of decision-making are provided 8, 9].
This work proposes to: (a) classify background knowledge into information, descriptions, and inferences; (b) notice the effects of specific information set inside the general information used to classify and evaluate -- beliefs, which can vary from religious allegiance, to the very common notion of a perceived threat of some kind from others; (c) pin down the effects of estimations which are necessarily involved and which produce distortions -- the dubious generalisations, the belief that knowledge of a very small sample is representative, an estimate of the relations between particular variables and tendency to exclude negative cases [this is racism as a kind of dubious science, discussed in other work]. Personality traits influence these generalisations, including matters such as tolerance of out-groups [a dimension of the famous authoritarian personality studies].
What happens is that people tend to categorise others. Experience can then modify these categorisations. The beliefs involved are likely to be fairly constant, but attitudes can be more flexible -- hence the view that beliefs on their own are a poor predictor of actual hostility or discrimination (12). The term 'attitude' here means hostility or whatever towards an individual: discrimination may be aimed at collectives as well [but there is also the well-known finding that people may have beliefs about groups which are different to those of attitudes towards individuals -- for example, hating black people but liking a particular black person].
'Attitudes' in the usual psychological work refer to the operationalization of beliefs, but attitudes here develop from both beliefs and more current information. Actual reactions can be impulsive rather than rational, that is formed not just on the basis of the assessment of new information, but more to do with underlying beliefs. Even here, some relative weighting of beliefs is often involved. Nevertheless, beliefs do constrain attitudes more generally, so that predominantly favourable beliefs cannot produce negative attitudes. Similarly, good reliable beliefs tend to have more impact than less reliable or less firmly held ones -- reliable beliefs can produce things like the ability to discount contradictory evidence [important in the formation of a stereotype specifically].
So, overall, attitudes can lead to discrimination in some circumstances. Generally, impulsive action is rare, which leads to a role for external factors such as the approval of others, or the individual perception of consequences arising from an action, including the difficulty in actually performing an action. These can be considered as 'conditioning factors' (14), a set of constraints and reinforcements. These can actually overcome the release of attitudes in action. They can be classified as: (a) intrapersonal -- moral standards, propensities to violence, the mental costs of violence; (b) interpersonal -- the fear of retaliation, peer pressure, subjective norms and sanctions, the role of reference groups [a useful and much neglected concept]; (c) structural -- the costs and benefits of action, the opportunity to discriminate, the availability of victims. Structural factors can also be institutional -- the role of the State or church, legislation about recruitment and ways round the legislation, including latent discrimination [a common UK example is the way in which local councils allocate housing on the basis of a rational and fair points system, and it just so happens that it is hard for asylum seekers to accumulate enough points]. Institutional constraints can be negotiated sometimes, or even resisted and evaded.
There are some policy implications here: (a) we can try to positively influence beliefs, although this is a long-term project and rather difficult. There may be a special role for leisure here in demonstrating tolerant beliefs [the same argument is often made for sport]; (b) we can work on attitudes, attempting to reduce intergroup hostility and conflict; (c) we can increase the number of constraints on discriminatory behaviour, which is likely to be effective especially in the short run, before resistance develops, but which does not touch the causes of discrimination. We are in a position especially to affect the policy of our institutions -- to insist on equal opportunity, target discriminated groups, work on peers, offer positive leadership and so on.[Some British evidence suggests that various anti-discrimination laws did have this effect -- insisting on non-hostile action e.g. at work actually did lead to a longer-term improvement, presumably as people got to know each other better].
This model can also be used to predict areas which make people vulnerable to attack. It may well be over rational, but it has produced results. It may be over individual -- further work is needed on the dynamics of social groups and social aggregates, such as work on reference groups. The model can also be used to study changes over time [and education is mentioned as a factor finally on page 17].
[The rest of the issue of the journal discusses this model]
Shaw, S. 'Discrimination is a Societal Issue Too: Moving Beyond Individual Behaviour'
The model focuses too much on individual psychology, with sociological factors seen only as 'conditioning factors'. Social groups are not just aggregate of individuals. Power also has an important role in discrimination -- it 'inferiorises' certain groups, and turns them into others. The American underclass is an example. Structural solutions are needed to groups like this which are reproduced over generations. 'Attitudes' should better be seen as ideologies, connected to power. The information that people use to form them can be ideological itself, rather than neutral: ideology can persuade people inequalities are natural or biological.
A social constructivist approach would overcome the reliance on individual rationality, and see the various constraints as equally socially constructed. Prejudice itself has been constructed -- for example the meanings of produce change over time. A constructivist stance also leaves room for more optimism [rather denied by the first paragraph I thought], and can help us understand resistance as well as reproduction.
Finally, should the model be applied to gender discrimination, lots of work would be available here to round it out -- stereotyping by the media, masculinity in sport, leisure as a contradictory site of hegemony and resistance.
[Stodolska gets another go - and another in fact -- 3 articles in the same journal!! Why? I could only be bothered to summarise 2 of her pieces, so here is the other one, followed by a critique that suggested itself to me throughout...]
Stodolska, M. 'Implications of the Conditioned Attitude Model of Individual Discriminatory Behaviour for Discrimination in Leisure Settings', 59 - 74
This is a test of the model [CAM] against some characteristics of work and leisure [based on some rather limited and conventional assumptions, as we shall see].
Largely American literature is reviewed to indicate the relative neglect of leisure as a setting for discrimination. Most of the studies focus on residence, school, jobs and politics instead. However prejudice, as a relatively permanent characteristic, should be found in leisure as well. Some studies had indeed found that Afro-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans and eastern Europeans seem to have felt unwelcome in leisure settings, and that this has lowered their participation and changed their behaviour. One response has been to stay with large groups of their own ethnic kind, to do spatial isolation. There is still less information on why leisure should lead to discrimination -- hence the application of CAM.
CAM is then summarised, and there is a useful flow diagram on page 61. Beliefs are especially likely to be stable across settings like leisure and work. Leisure settings may be able to amplify beliefs by concentrating those with similar beliefs, although this is a social matter not really dealt with by the model. The main focus is on the sort of information inputs which may arise from participation in leisure.
[The rest of the paper consists of discussions of various propositions. I have paraphrased and clarified them below].
(1) Leisure can affect 'cultural distance'. Conformity is important at work but leisure permits the expression of difference leading to different participation rates and possibly large cultural distances [the first of many assumptions, presumably based on the spatial patterns of American leisure -- what of the ways in which leisure can reduce cultural distances? See Hutchinson below].
(2)Work places are generally more competitive [!] which tends to generalise hostility and lead to perceptions of unfair advantage. This may explain a particular problem as a reaction to policies of affirmative action. The stress of work amplifies hostility too. Competition and stress are lower in leisure settings [surely not in sport? Maybe in music -- which explains Frith's point that racial abuse against black people is common in football but absent in black music concerts] , which leads to fewer incentives to discriminate and no institutional reinforcement of discrimination [except where organised?]
(3) Interpersonal tensions are greater at work, since work tends to combine people unwillingly [which assumes a great deal of social mixing at work]. Group cohesion is more important, especially if linked to income [so more massive assumptions, a lot of them stemming from the old view that work is nasty and alienating and leisure is some sort of recreation or escape].
(4) Other structural factors at work also reinforce discrimination, including greater opportunities for economic gain from discriminatory behaviour, and more opportunities to discriminate. These are only matters of ' minor importance' (64) in leisure [!]. At work, safety, promotion, and vacation entitlement are all at stake.
(5) The frequency of contact very. The high levels of everyday contact at work lead to more opportunities for discrimination [not greater tolerance?]. Leisure permits ethnic groups to isolate themselves and thereby avoid discrimination and control admission to the group. [There seems to be a methodological focus on discrimination here, ignoring beliefs and attitudes].
(6) Greater visibility leads to greater effect in leisure settings. Ethnicity may be invisible in casual leisure [based on skin colour or accent?].
(7) The sanctions against discrimination are greater at work. Discrimination in leisure tends to be more casual and more difficult to police.
Other relevant factors include contact with the mainstream and the cultural content of activities. The leisure pursuits chosen by minorities have effects on the mainstream, leading to more propositions:
(8) There is less discrimination in segregated groups [obviously, but what about beliefs and attitudes? -- Stodolska admits these can worsen].
(9) Locations are important, so that 'protected sites' can deter bigots -- as in ethnic clubs for South Asian girls, Native Americans or black people [again an amazing picture is provided of leisure in the USA of effectively segregated areas -- a study is cited suggesting that even national parks are ethnically segregated, through a system of 'tacit rules' (69)]. This increases territorialism, however, whereas more neutral sites might permit greater tolerance.
(10) The type and frequency of social contacts can provide less partial information and lead to tolerance, but less so if it is casual and infrequent. The latter can lead to the perpetuation of popular myths. Intimate contacts lead to greater tolerance and the reduction of prejudice [presumably not in the physical sense of intimate, or else the sex industry would be an example of a tolerance-increasing practice?]. Leisure activities can permit this kind of helpful socialising [maybe the article should start here?].
(11) The cultural content itself is an important variable. Unhelpful examples include 'loud foreign-language music played in the park, the preparation of unusual food, being dressed in ceremonial clothing... hostile attitudes' (71). Frequent contacts here can increase levels of prejudice. 'Close, equal status contacts' are better, and leisure that provides these is helpful. However leisure also provides opportunities to discriminate, for example in the over-zealous enforcement of rules.
Overall, these propositions indicate a great triumph for the model. Leisure seems be better than work in terms of discrimination, since work offers more chances and motives to discriminate, but more regulations of discrimination too. Leisure can shelter people if it is racially segregated, although this tends to change attitudes negatively. Leisure can produce intimate contacts [so can work, especially close manual teamwork like coal-mining!]. Leisure is enjoyable and non-competitive [maybe!]. Further empirical work is needed and so on.
Hutchinson, R. 'The Racialisation of Leisure', 29 - 36.
Reading Stodolska seems to contradict a great deal of experience of leisure and 'race', even in the USA. For example, segregation and racial isolation is far less obvious in the South than in the North. There are too many assumptions, including the view that work always offers a more formal setting for interaction and leisure. In practice, there is a whole continuum of settings. Some leisure settings have very important conformity rules -- for example 'opera, symphony, dining' (31), where racial segregation would be unthinkable, and so would a request to move away freom people of different ethnic origins. Strong sanctions are also available to prevent prejudice or discrimination. There is no carte blanche to discriminate in leisure. Similarly, work environments occupy a range of possibilities as well.
There are many neglected possibilities. For example, joint service in the army leads to lower levels of discrimination [because army life features cooperation rather than competition?]. There are many inter-racial friendships at work, even in the USA, and education also levels relations.
Work is often more predictable and regulated than leisure, but the details of the work setting themselves effect discrimination, such as the size of the workplace, the autonomy granted to workers, the amount and type of overseeing and regulation [strangely, these factors are also important in the development of class consciousness, according to some classic British work]. As an example, employees can subvert work regulations -- [and there is a lovely example of this on page 32, where personnel are encouraged to covertly record the ethnicity of job applicants by doodling on the letterhead].
Ethnicity too is not always visible or audible. Indeed, we know that ethnic identities can even be optional or situational. Certainly, guesses based on surnames or accents are crude and unreliable. Stodolska really means 'race' not ethnicity, and even here there are problems in allocating people because there has been much racial mixing. If black people are simply another visible minority, there is nothing specific about 'race' at all, and discrimination affects other visible minorities just as much. However, racialisation is something additional, and this needs to be analysed -- it is a social construction, connecting appearance, racial identity, and ethnic identity.
Overall, Stodolska almost justifies discrimination as a matter of rational calculation, including the calculation of rational economic advantage. She reflects the current 'dystopian vision of contemporary American society' (34). She implies that discrimination is a matter for dominant groups alone, although this actually requires agreement in the 'fragile' social structures of current America (34). Minorities can play an active role themselves, albeit unintentionally -- their very presence can threaten and frighten white people [here, racism is seen as based on an irrational fear of black people or other outsiders].
However, discrimination is not an ever-present feature of American society, and researchers run the risk of setting out to discover it and thus confirming their suspicions. Stodolska's work particularly down plays inter-racial interaction, especially in public education.
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