International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

2II The social context of stereotyping in interaction

(Session Organizer) Philippa Kerr, University of KwaZulu-Natal; (Chair) Kevin Durrheim, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Research Area: Intergroup relations

Social psychologists commonly treat stereotypes as individual cognitive entities that are cued by environmental stimuli. The papers in this panel consider the ways that stereotypes are actually used in conversation, specifically how speakers position themselves in relation to the moral and interactional pressures of the situation.  Condor addresses the ways that speakers ‘scaffold’ each others’ expression of stereotypes, coaching each other to produce acceptable stereotypes and collaborating to produce a shared narrative. Durrheim focuses on how speakers manage the way their expressed stereotypes are heard by the interviewer, by constructing the context and the mind of the speaker. Kerr addresses Sherif’s premise that the contents of stereotypes reflect the stance of groups in certain relations to each other, and that social psychology’s dominant ‘two-group paradigm’ does not adequately address those situations where the stance of two groups is dependent on their different relationships to some third party. Finally, Whitehead shows how stereotypes are oriented to as moral and/or cognitive matters by the people who deploy them and respond to them in radio call-in shows.