Us vs Them, again, and always.
June 10, 2014 2:45 PM Subscribe
When money's tight, humans define 'people like me' as more deserving.
posted by VikingSword (16 comments total)
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[LATimes link, user privacy settings in browser]. 'The recession from which the United States is recovering, unemployment among blacks and Latinos has been deeper and more entrenched; incomes in black and Latino communities have fallen more sharply; and recovery has been slower and far less complete. Labor economists cite
a host of structural and institutional reasons for these racial and ethnic disparities - that African Americans, for instance, are more likely to be employed in hard-hit public sector or manufacturing jobs than in business or knowledge-based industries. But new findings from a psychology lab suggest another powerful contributor: in circumstances of scarcity, whites see blacks as blacker and are more likely to identify those of ambiguous or mixed race as black. And given the opportunity to divvy up scarce resources, whites are stingier with those of color than they are to those they identify as white.'
'The stark findings
' 'in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science'. 'They're in line with a growing body of research that suggests that, even in the best of times, humans default to defining "people like me" as more deserving than people who are "other." And that when resources constrict, that tendency is amplified.
But in the wake of a recession that hit African American and minority workers with particular ferocity, the findings highlight a stubborn but very real fact about the distribution of wealth and hardship in an economy with winners and losers: that an economy's "structural" features are upheld by humans, and that when those humans feel threatened, their unconscious prejudices can make existing inequality even more glaring.'