Parasocial Mediated Contact’s Effects on Intergroup Relations between Minority Groups in the Multi-Racial Group Context
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIn this dissertation, I explored how mass mediated contact’s effects on intergroup bias would change in the multi-group context. The dissertation suggested parasocial outgroup-outgroup contact as a new form of multi-group contact, and tested its impact on intergroup bias. Parasocial outgroup-outgroup contact is contact between members of two outgroups; in the context of the current study I specifically examine a minority (Hispanic) group member’s perceptions observing contact between another minority group member (African American or Native American) and a majority (White) group member. I speculated that, unlike traditional parasocial contact, the effects of parasocial outgroup-outgroup contact would be influenced by the social status of the minority outgroup. I hypothesized that parasocial outgroup-outgroup contact would exacerbate prejudice toward a relevant minority outgroup (one of a similar status to a minority perceiver), but would not exacerbate prejudice towards an irrelevant minority outgroup (one of a substantially lower status than the minority perceiver). Also, I hypothesized that the underlying mechanism would be positive social identity threat from the minority outgroup. Findings, however, showed that parasocial outgroup-outgroup contact contributed to improving attitudes toward relevant minority outgroup, and positive social identity threat was not the mechanism of the contact effect. The speculative reasons for, and implications of the unexpected findings were discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College