Cultural Encounters: A Journal For The Theology Of Culture Volume 11 Number 1 (Winter 2015) - Page 48

THE PREEMINENCE OF CHRIST IN US - Cleveland potentially produce conflict and hostility.55 Four conditions are necessary for contact to succeed in improving intergroup relations: equal status, personal interaction, cooperative activities, and social norms. Bringing groups together under conditions of equal status can in itself disconfirm perceptions about differences between the groups.56 The second condition, personal interaction, can also serve to disconfirm inaccurate perceptions of the outgroup, particularly if the outgroup members’ behaviors clearly disconfirm the stereotype, are perceived as disconfirming, and are attributed to the group as a whole. It is worth noting that the perceiver must be motivated and able to perceive the outgroup member in non-stereotypical ways. In this sense, both group members must be motivated to form accurate impressions of each other during the intergroup contact situation. The third condition, that members of the two groups should join together in an effort to achieve superordinate goals, can increase motivation to form accurate impressions of partners.57 When interactants must cooperate with each other in order to achieve a common aim, they tend to be motivated to form accurate impressions of each other. Further, working toward a superordinate goal can lead group members to both decategorize and recategorize the groups. Decategorization occurs when group members place less emphasis on group categories and perceive outgroup members as individuals, rather than outgroup members. Recategorization leads group members to change their conception of the two groups, allowing them to develop a more inclusive ingroup that includes those who were previously 55. John A. Dixon and Steve Reicher, “Intergroup Contact and Desegregation in the New South Africa,” British Journal of Social Psychology 36, no. 3 (1997): 361–381; H. D. Forbes, Ethnic Conflict: Commerce, Culture, and the Contact Hypothesis (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1997); Marylee C. Taylor, “How White Attitudes Vary with the Racial Composition of Local Populations: Numbers Count,” American Sociological Review 63, no. 4 (1998): 512–535. 56. Elizabeth G. Cohen and Rachel A. Lotan, “Producing Equal Status Interaction in the Heterogeneous Classroom,” American Educational Research Journal 32, no. 1 (1995): 99–120. 57. Ralph Erber and Susan T. Fiske, “Outcome Dependency and Attention to Inconsistent Information,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 47, no. 4 (1984): 709. 47