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Is multiculturalism or color blindness better for minorities?
Psychological Science (2009)
  • V C Plaut, Berkeley Law
  • K M Thomas
  • M J Goren
Abstract

Multiculturalism, a pluralistic ideology, stresses recognizing and celebrating group differences, whereas color blindness, an assimilationist ideology, stresses ignoring or minimizing group differences. Among dominant-group members, multiculturalism whether experimentally manipulated or measured as an individual difference predicts lower bias, whereas color blindness predicts greater bias. In a field study, we investigated the effects of Whites’ diversity beliefs on their minority co-workers’ psychological engagement, a meaningful target outcome. The 4,915 respondents (48% response rate; 80% female, 20% male; 79% White, 21% minority; modal age 42–60 years) mirrored organizational demographics (79% female, 21% male; 79% White, 21% minority; modal age 42– 60 years). The result indicates that diversity beliefs impact engagement despite dispersion. It is concluded that by making multiple advances across areas of psychology, we have shown that poor diversity climates cost and positive diversity climates benefit both minorities and organizations.

Disciplines
Publication Date
2009
Citation Information
V C Plaut, K M Thomas and M J Goren. "Is multiculturalism or color blindness better for minorities?" Psychological Science Vol. 20 Iss. 4 (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/victoria_plaut/20/