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From Stereotyping to Invisibility: The Psychological Consequences of Using American Indian Mascots Stephanie A. Fryberg University of Arizona Marysville.

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Presentation on theme: "From Stereotyping to Invisibility: The Psychological Consequences of Using American Indian Mascots Stephanie A. Fryberg University of Arizona Marysville."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Stereotyping to Invisibility: The Psychological Consequences of Using American Indian Mascots Stephanie A. Fryberg University of Arizona Marysville School District

2 From Stereotyping to Invisibility: The Psychological Consequences of Using American Indian mascots

3 Not that I would not, if I could, be both handsome and fat and well dressed, and a great athlete, and make a million a year, be a wit, a bon-vivant, and a lady-killer, as well as a philosopher, a philanthropist, statesman, warrior, African explorer, ‘tone-poet’ and saint. (James, 1950 [1890])

4 So the seeker of his truest, strongest, deepest self must review the list carefully and pick out the one on which to stake his salvation. (James, 1950 [1890])

5 Relevant Research  Stereotype Threat (e.g., Steele & Aronson,1995; Steele, 1997; Spencer, Steele, & Quinn, 1997; Steele, Spenser, & Aronson, 2002)  Social Representations (e.g., Moscovici, 1961; 1984; 1994; Wagner, 1987; Jovchelovitch, 1995; Deaux & Philogène, 2001)

6 According to Stereotype Threat…. 1.Stereotypes exist in the world, not simply inside individual minds 2.Stereotypes are reflected and inscribed in the practices, policies, and institutions that comprise society 3.Stereotypes are enacted in everyday, interpersonal behavior 4.Stereotypes are powerful and influential in the performance of minorities

7 Social Representations A system of values, ideas, and practices with a twofold function: 1. Orientation 2. Communication

8 REPRESENTS The American Flag REPRESENTS American ideas of freedom and independence.

9 RE-PRESENTS The American Flag RE-PRESENTS American ideas of freedom and independence.

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11 University of Illinois’ former mascot/symbol “Chief Illiniwek”

12 For many non-Indians, an Indian must resemble a historical image, one frozen in the past and in historical archives--the noble, proud warrior dancing about and worshipping nature’s mysteries… (Trimble, 1987)

13 Social Representations of American Indians in Mainstream Media  In a content analysis of national newspapers in 1997 and major films from , relatively few (.2%) representations of American Indians (AI) were found (Fryberg, 2003) Representations were largely stereotypic and/or negative AI were seldom presented as contemporary people or in contemporary domains (e.g., as students, teachers, doctors)  In a composite week of primetime TV in 1997, no AI characters were identified (Mastro & Greenberg, 2000).  In a two week composite of primetime TV in 2002, 6 out of 1488 (.4%) TV characters were identified as AI (Mastro & Behm-Morawitz, 2005).  In a composite week of TV commercials in 2000,.4% of speaking characters were identified as AI (Mastro & Stern, 2003).

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15 Overview Examine the psychological consequences of American Indian mascots, on American Indian students, who are the targets of the representations. Examine the psychological consequences of American Indian mascots on European American students, who are the observers of the representations. Discuss the implications of American Indian mascots on intergroup relations, in particular, on school and work environments.

16 Studies 1 & 2 What is the impact of American Indian social representations on the self-esteem (Study 1) and community efficacy (Study 2) of American Indians?

17 Methods Participants Study 1: 72 American Indian (41 females, 31 males) high school students. Mean age = 16.4 years. Study 2: 152 American Indian (86 females, 60 males) high school student. Mean age = 15.7 years. Procedure: Studies 1 & 2 1. In a study about “media representations,” participants were primed with an American Indian social representation. 2. Completed a self-esteem (Study 1) or community efficacy (Study 2) measure.

18 Priming Conditions Condition 1: Disney’s “Pocahontas” Condition 2: Cleveland Indian’s team mascot “Chief Wahoo”

19 Priming Conditions “Negative Stereotypes” Condition 3: Social Problems “Negative Stereotypes” “No Prime” Condition 4: Control “No Prime”  50-55% of American Indian high school students drop out of high school (Ward, 1994)  Suicide rates are the highest for any ethnic group (Duran & Duran, 1995)  Alcoholism rates of enormous proportions (Oetting & Bevais, 1987) Participants completed self-esteem measure

20 Study 1 Questionnaire State Self-Esteem (Heatherton & Polivy, 1991)  I feel that others respect and admire me.  I feel confident about my abilities.  I feel pleased with my appearance right now.  I feel concerned about the impression I am making right now.

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22 Study 2 Questionnaire Community Efficacy (Fryberg, 2000) o People in my community can take action to make things better. o I feel like I can make a difference in my community. o I wish I could have more respect for my community.

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24 Attitudes About Indian Mascots? Do you agree or disagree with using Indians as mascots for sports teams? Agree NeutralDisagree

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26 Respect for American Indians? For sports teams, do you think European Americans who dress up as Indians are showing respect to American Indians? YesNeutral No

27 Mascot is a Caricature

28 Study 3 Do American Indian social representations, in this case American Indian mascots, impact the number of achievement-related possible selves? Do all American Indian mascots have the same impact on American Indians? What types of social representations of American Indians will increase wellbeing? Does it matter if the American Indian mascot represents an American Indian university?

29 What are Possible Selves?  Possible selves are the selves that people would like to become or are afraid of becoming  They are the cognitive manifestations of enduring goals, aspirations, motives, fears and threats. (Cross & Markus, 1994; Markus & Nurius, 1986; Oyserman & Markus, 1990; Oyserman & Saltz, 1993)

30 Social Representations and Achievement- Related Possible Selves Participants o 172 American Indian (92 females, 80 males) students from a predominantly American Indian University o Mean age = 23.1 years Procedure 1. Primed with a social representation of American Indians 2. Completed a possible selves measure

31 Mascot Conditions “Indians” Condition 2: Haskell Indian Nations University mascot “Indians” “Chief Wahoo” Condition 1: Cleveland Indian’s team mascot “Chief Wahoo”

32 Mascot Conditions No prime Condition 4: Control No prime “Chief Illiniwek” Condition 3: University of Illinois mascot “Chief Illiniwek” Participants completed the possible selves measure

33 Positive Condition Condition 5: American Indian College Fund Ad

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35 Positive S.R. Condition Condition 5: American Indian College Fund Ad “Have you ever seen a real Indian?”

36 Study 4 What is the impact of American Indian social representations on the self-esteem of European Americans?

37 Social Representations and European American Self-Esteem Participants o 136 European American college students (71 females and 65 males) o Mean age = 19.8 years Procedure 1. Primed with a social representation of American Indians 2. Completed self-esteem measure

38 Priming Conditions Condition 1: Disney’s “Pocahontas” Condition 2: Cleveland Indian’s team mascot “Chief Wahoo”

39 Priming Conditions Condition 3: Social Problems “Negative Stereotypes” Condition 4: Control “No Prime”  50-55% of American Indian high school students drop out of high school (Ward, 1994)  Suicide rates are the highest for any ethnic group (Duran & Duran, 1995)  Alcoholism rates of enormous proportions (Oetting & Bevais, 1987) Participants completed self-esteem measure

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41 American Indians European Americans

42 Studies 5 & 6 What is the impact of American Indian social representations on the self-esteem (Study 5) and likeability (Study 6) of European Americans?

43 Methods Participants Study 5: 55 European American male college students. Mean age = 19.0 years (SD = 1.0). Study 6: 46 European American male college students. Mean age = 20.7 years (SD = 2.4). Procedure: Studies 5 & 6 1. Exposed to an American Indian social representation on a t-shirt that was on the research assistant (Study 5) or in a picture. 2. Complete a self-esteem (Study 5) or likeability (Study 6) measure.

44 Priming Conditions Condition 2: University of Notre Dame mascot “Fighting Irish” Condition 1: Cleveland Indian’s team mascot “Chief Wahoo”

45 Condition 3: Control “No Prime” Participants completed self-esteem (Study 5) or likeability (Study 6) measure Priming Conditions

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47 Study 6 Questionnaire Likeability (BIRG; Cialdini & De Nicholas, 1989) o Do you think you would like this person? o Sometimes we see a little of ourselves in other people. Do you feel this way about this person? o Do you feel that you and this person have any common attributes?

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49 General Discussion  Social representations can have unintended and negative effects.

50 We are fighting, Californians For the Blue and Gold; We are starting on the warpath For a scalp or two; Our blood's up and simply boiling, What can Stanford do? We are starting on the warpath For a scalp or two. So,... We're goin' to scalp you, Stanford! We're goin' to scalp you blue! We'll do it with Your tomahawk We took from you. Rah! Rah! Rah! All 'round our belts we'll hang them To show all friends who's dead; We're goin' to carve some blockheads Whose scalps are red. We are hotfoot after Stanford Camping on her trail; With our tomahawk before us, We can never fail. Getting ready for the war dance, All our warriors true; We are putting on our war paint, Royal Gold and Blue.

51 60s & 70s 80s & 90s 2000 University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Logo

52 University of North Dakota “Fighting Sioux” t-shirts

53 Poster hung outside the University of North Dakota American Indian Studies Department

54 General Discussion  In the case of American Indians, social representations of their group depressed how they felt about themselves (self-esteem), their community (community efficacy), and what they want to become or are able to become (possible selves).  In the case of European Americans, social representations of American Indians increased how they felt about themselves (self-esteem) and their liking for others who used American Indian mascots. European Americans incur no social cost for using American Indian mascots.  Social representations can have unintended and negative effects.

55 Implications Teachers, coaches and employers should ensure that the existing or relevant social representations do not devalue or limit individual identity or potential. In the case of American Indians, it may be important to recognize both what is represented and what is not represented in the environment. The messages that inform Natives that they do not belong or that they cannot be successful in an environment may be invisible. Creating and developing new and positive social representations may be one route to countering the effects of negative or limited sets of social representations.

56 Thank You! Collaborators Hazel Rose Markus Daphna Oyserman Jeff Stone Joseph Stone Research Assistants Irene Yeh Rabiah Muhammad Brad Myles Greg Eldridge University of Arizona Culture Collaboratory


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