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3 months ago

I can't stop doubting the contact theory. : A few days ago , I had a business meeting with a manager in charge of a company's laboratory. The manager(she) and I found that we have the same interests in immigration issues, so we hit it off quickly. She told her story of racism happening in her company. According to her, there are a lot of Southeast Asian factory workers in her company and she tried to become friendly with the factory workers, because she thought they need to be respected for playing a great role in her company. ​ ​ Then, her coworkers were worried about her friendly behavior with the factory workers, and advised her not to try to become friendly with the factory workers. The coworkers believed that Southeast Asians tend to rape Korean women. She asked them not to judge her friendly behavior in a negative way and refuted their comment by saying "If a white person works for our factory, would you judge me in the same way?" Both her coworkers and she work for the same company, and meet the same people, but they come to the different conclusions. ​ ​ In the other meetings with other companies(5 companies) where Southeast Asians worked for, I couldn't find any other managers who had a piece of positive impressions of Southeast Asians. All of them said that the Southeast Asians were dirty, rude, not fluent in Korean, and lazy. I felt like they had treated Southeast Asian factory workers as slaves. (Literally, all of them. Not most of them) It is horrible. Provided that bosses/managers stick with their prejudicial perspectives despite a hundreds of contacts of different races, I can't stop doubting the contact theory. ​ ​ Contact Theory: In psychology and other social sciences, the contact hypothesis suggests that intergroup contact under appropriate conditions can effectively reduce prejudice between majority and minority group members. Following WWII and the desegregation of the military and other public institutions, policymakers and social scientists had turned an eye towards the policy implications of interracial contact. Of them, social psychologist Gordon Allport united early research in this vein under intergroup contact theory. Full Article

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