The contact hypothesis and its relevance to busing

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bertha Dancil Henderson (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Michael Weiner

Abstract: It was the purpose of this thesis to review and summarize the recent literature on the contact hypothesis and to analyze its possible use as an effective means of attitude change in American ethnic relations. A primary objective was to highlight the relevance of the contact theory to the current busing controversy. The positive and negative effects of busing children to schools outside their neighborhoods were evaluated and weighed against the probable benefits implicit in the contact situations. The social psychological research reviewed in this paper supports Allport's theory that intergroup prejudice will be diminished when two groups possess equal status in the contact situation, seek common goals, are cooperatively dependent upon each other and interact with the positive support of authorities, laws and custom. The research and national surveys indicate an increasingly significant positive change in the attitude of whites towards blacks since the 1940's. This change has been shown to be related to increased contact between the two groups in the areas of occupation, recreation, education, politics, and proximity of living quarters. Busing as a means of integrating the schools helps to increase black-white contact. Insofar as the contact situation may embody compelling goals which cannot be achieved by either group singly but require intragroup cooperation, then interdependence between the two groups would be established.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1973
Busing for school integration
United States $x Race relations

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