A Macat analysis of Gordon W. Allport's The Nature of Prejudice.
New York: Basic Books, 1979
Gordon W. Allport's 1954 book The Nature of Prejudice helped mold the ways in which psychologists investigate prejudice. But the American's work reached further than that, also helping to shape society as a whole and making a substantial contribution to the US Civil Rights Movement, as well as to the country's anti-discrimination and anti-segregation laws of the 1950s and 1960s.
The book was immensely influential in the 1950s cognitive revolution, showing scientists how to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the mind. The most important contribution Allport made in this field through The Nature of Prejudice - the development of what is known as intergroup contact theory - has inspired hundreds of studies. The theory states that contact between groups is one of the most effective ways to reduce prejudice. The book's enduring influence can be seen in the 2005 publication of a collection of essays - On The Nature of Prejudice: Fifty Years After Allport - that focuses on its core themes.
You can find out more about how Allport's ideas have been challenged and applied - and how his work has impacted on thinkers in other academic disciplines - by exploring further in the Macat Library.
Macat's analyses cover 14 different subjects in the humanities and social sciences.
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