Posted on October 15, 2004

Racial Democracy in the Americas: A Latin and U.S. Comparison

Jim Sidanius,Yesilernis Peñ, and Mark Sawyer, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 35, No. 6, 749-762 (2004)

The “racial democracy” (Iberian exceptionalism) thesis claims that racial prejudice in Latin America is not only lower than that found in the United States but is essentially absent altogether. We explored the plausibility of this thesis by the use of both explicit and implicit prejudice measures among Blacks and Whites from the United States and three Caribbean nations. In general, the results showed significant racial prejudice against Blacks and in favor of Whites in all four nations. African Americans were the only participants not to show significant implicit prejudice either in favor of or against Blacks. In addition, North Americans (i.e., participants from the United States) displayed lower implicit and explicit racial prejudice than participants in each of the three Latino nations. Overall, the results clearly contradicted the thesis of racial democracy and suggest that Latin America may not be nearly as egalitarian as some have argued.

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