Racial discrimination advocacy : targets’ views of their advocates

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Horwege, Andrea; Barrio, Jyotica
Advocate -- Evaluation; Social evolution -- Research; Identity (Philosophical concept); Race discrimination -- Case study; Dependency (Psychology) -- Testing; Social advocacy -- Psychological aspects; Social sciences; Whitman College -- Dissertation collection 2015 -- Psychology Department; Psychology
thesis / dissertation description
While research has shown that having an advocate claim discrimination on behalf of another reduces others’ negative evaluations of both the target of discrimination and the advocate, relatively little is known about the target’s evaluation of their advocate. The helping literature demonstrates that the identity of the advocate in relation to that of the receiver of help influences the recipient’s evaluation of their advocate and the type of help received. In the present study, 65 participants who identified as racial minorities were asked to imagine themselves in a scenario in which they did not get hired for a job due to racial discrimination, and then received either autonomy- or dependency-oriented help from either a White or racial minority advocate. Participants then evaluated their advocate and the help they provided. Contrary to previous literature and our hypotheses, we found no difference in evaluations of White or minority advocates in terms of efficacy, level of complaining, and general mood toward their advocate depending on the type of help the advocate provided. However, we found that when autonomy-oriented help was provided, participants viewed minority advocates as more likeable than White advocates. We believe that this research will add to the advocacy and helping literature, which informs individuals on how to become more effective advocates. As such, this area of research can impact careers in social work and advocacy in general.