Desensitizing Herbert Blumer's work on race relations: Recent applications of his group position theory to the study of contemporary race prejudice

Luigi Esposito, John W. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Recent applications of Herbert Blumer's group position model to the study of contemporary race prejudice have misrepresented the ongoing process of definition and accommodation that, according to Blumer, mediates race relations. By conforming to the canons of research design and using standard sample surveys, public opinion polls, variables analysis, and statistical techniques to study perceptions of group threat, group hostility, and prejudicial attitudes, Blumer's dynamic social imagery, as well as the socially grounded methodology he sought to promote, are undermined. The result is a static depiction of race relations that has nothing to do with the variegated experiential complexities that Blumer claimed underlie all human group life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397-410
Number of pages14
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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