The Diversity Challenge: Understanding and Overcoming Group Conflicts
Psychology 19, Section 1 – Fiat Lux Seminar, Fall 2005
Professor Yuen Huo
Office Hour: Thursdays 11-12 or by appointment in 4625 Franz Hall. Phone: 310-794-5305. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Progress in civil rights and the new wave of immigration have created unprecedented level of diversity in American schools, workplaces, and communities. As individuals from different cultural, ethnic, and racial groups come together, questions are raised about how this demographic shift plays out. Can people from different cultural backgrounds find ways to live and work together, despite their differences? Or is social division along ethnic and racial lines inevitable? These and other questions are addressed by drawing on scientific research on the origins and consequences of group conflicts and strategies for overcoming them. During the quarter, we will use films, debates, in class demonstrations, and a field trip to help us sort through these important questions.
Assigned Reading & Materials: A packet of readings will be available for purchase from the
Psychology Copy Center/Storeroom (A219 Franz Hall – A-Level, Middle Building) from 8:00-12:00 and
1:00-3:00. The cost is $10. Please bring exact change. Additional materials may be emailed to you. Please make sure to check the email account registered with MYUCLA.
Class Meetings: Wednesdays Oct 5, 15, Nov. 2, 16, and 30 from 1:00-2:50 pm in 1571 Franz Hall. Attendance is expected. Please come on time.
Requirements: Because there are only five class meetings scheduled, it is important that you attend all the meetings. You should not expect to pass the course if you miss more than one class meeting.
1) Class debate and discussion:
Much of our learning will be based on sharing with each other our thoughts and reactions about diversity and intergroup relations. To get the most of this course, you need to come having read and carefully thought about the issues raised in the readings. Three of the classes (Oct 15, Nov 2, & Nov 30) will each be devoted to a single topic. To help structure your thinking about each topic and to stimulate class discussion, a debate will be held for each of the three topics – with a group of students assigned to one
side of the debate and a second group assigned to the opposing side. After each debate, there will be a general discussion. Students who are not assigned to a team for the day’s debate will be asked to take a
position on the topic and to write a brief paragraph supporting their position.
Guidelines for debates: Each student will participate in one class debate as part of a team.
During our initial class meeting, the team you are assigned to will have time to organize itself.
However, you will need to be in contact with team members outside of class time to prepare for
the debate. Each team member is expected to participate in the debate. Each team will have 20
minutes to present your side of the debate. To prepare for the debate, review the points made in
the assigned readings and also consider ideas of your own. If you have the time, look for other
facts and ideas about your topic in the library or the internet. For psychological research, ask the
reference librarian to show you how to access “PsychInfo”, the electronic data base for journal
articles in psychology. You may also want to look at a website devoted to organizing resources
for understanding the causes and consequences of prejudice: www.understandingprejudice.org
Guidelines for position briefs: Each of two briefs you submit should consist of a concise, typed
paragraph (no more than 100 words) clearly stating your position and the primary arguments
and/or evidence in support of your position. The briefs will be collected and checked for
2) Field trip reaction paper:
On Nov 16, we will visit the Museum of Tolerance in West Los Angeles. Each student is required to write a brief paper (no more than 2-pages double-spaced) analyzing an exhibit at the Museum in light of the research evidence and theories covered in the readings and class discussions. The papers are due at the last class meeting on Nov 30.
Oct 5 Meeting Introduction to the Psychological Bases of Group Conflicts
Jordan, C. H., & Zanna, M. P. (2001). How to read a journal article in social
psychology. In M. A. Hogg & D. Abrams (Eds.), Key readings in social
psychology: Intergroup relations. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.
Sherif, M. (1958). Superordinate goals in the reduction of intergroup conflicts.
American Journal of Sociology, 63, 349-356.
Tajfel, H. (1970). Experiments in intergroup discrimination. Scientific American,
Film: Eye of the Storm
Oct 15 Meeting Stereotyping & Prejudice: Causes and Consequences
Debate #1: Can we overcome stereotyping and prejudice?
Devine, P. G., & Vasquez, K. A. (1998). The rocky road to positive intergroup
relations. In J. L. Eberhardt & S. T. Fiske (Eds.), Confronting racisim: The
problem and the response (pp. 234-262). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., Kawakami, K., & Hodson, G. (2002). Why can't
we just get along? Interpersonal biases and interracial distrust. Cultural Diversity
and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 8, 88-102.
Steele, C. M. (1997). A threat in the air: How stereotypes shapes intellectual
identity and performance. American Psychologist, 52, 613-629.
Read about the IAT at the following web page:
If you feel comfortable completing an IAT, please do so before class. The
gender or race IAT is a good place to start.
Nov 2 Meeting Contact Theory and School Integration
Debate #2: School integration – doomed to failure or is there hope yet?
Clark, K. B., Chein, I., & Cook, S. W. (2004). The effects of segregation and the consequences of desegregation: A (September 1952) social science statement. American Psychologist, 59, 495-501.
Pettigew, T. F. (2004). Justice deferred: A Half century after Brown v. Board of Education. American Psychologist, 59, 521-529.
Banks, S. (2005, Sep 18, 2005). Class divide. Los Angeles Times.
Brewer, M. B. (2003). Intergroup Relations (2 ed.). Buckingham: Open
University Press. (Chapter 5 Intergroup contact, cooperation, and competition: Does togetherness make friends?, pp. 88-109).
Wittig, M. A., & Grant-Thompson, S. (1998). The utility of Allport's conditions of intergroup contact for predicting perceptions of improved racial attitudes and beliefs. Journal of Social Issues, 54, 795-812.
Nov 16 Meeting Field Trip: Museum of Tolerance
In lieu of our regular class meeting, we will meet at and visit the Museum of Tolerance. The museum is located nearby in West Los Angeles at 9786 West Pico Blvd. The admission is $7 with a valid student ID. I encourage you to attend this field trip with the class. However, an alternative assignment is available. For more information about the museum visit:
www.museumoftolerance.com. The museum is accessible by the No. 7 Line of
the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus: www.bigbluebus.com
Nov 30 Meeting Assimilation vs. Multiculturalism: The Psychology of Subgroup Relations
Debate # 3: Is multiculturalism the answer to the diversity challenge?
Fredrickson, G. M. (1999). Models of American ethnic relations: A historical perspective. In D. A. Prentice & D. T. Miller (Eds.), Cultural divides:
Understanding and overcoming group conflict (pp. 23-34). New York: Russell
Huo, Y. J., Smith, H. J., Tyler, T. R., & Lind, E. A. (1996). Superordinate identification, subgroup identification, and justice concerns: Is separatism the problem; is assimilation the answer? Psychological Science, 7, 40-45.
Hornsey, M. J., & Hogg, M. A. (2000). Assimiliation and diversity: An intergrative model of subgropup relations. Personality and Social Psychology
Review, 4, 143-156.
Sidanius, J., Van Laar, C., Levin, S., & Sinclair, S. (2004). Ethnic Enclaves and the Dynamics of Social Identity on the College Campus: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 96-110.