Indicators of racial prejudice among black and white faculty members in an " inverse integration" university setting

Gloria Smith Tuckfield, Atlanta University

Abstract

An ex post facto study was conducted to (1) assess the racially prejudiced attitudes black and white faculty members working in an "inverse integration" university setting harbored toward the opposite race and to (2) examine the variances in these attitudes with reference to selected demographic and social-psychological stratification variables,

These null hypotheses were tested:

1. There is no statistically significant difference between the racially prejudiced attitudes held by black faculty members, as measured by their scores on the Anti-White Scale, and the racially prejudiced attitudes held by white faculty members, as measured by their scores on the Anti-Black Scale.

2. There are no statistically significant differences between the prejudiced scores of the black and white faculty members, as measured by the Anti-White Scale and the Anti-Black Scale, respectively, when these scores are stratified by sex, age, region reared, undergraduate school region, graduate school region, employed years at Atlanta University, formal race/ethnic relations education, highest degree earned, father's or guardian's occupation, religious service attendance per month, political party orientation, pre-Atlanta University cross-racial contact, and Atlanta University cross-racial contact.

3. There are no statistically significant differences in the cross-racial contacts, as measured by the Cross-Racial Contact Scale, experienced by the black faculty members and the white faculty members before securing employment at Atlanta University and the cross-racial contacts experienced by the black faculty members and white faculty members after securing employment at Atlanta University.

One hundred ten full-time black and white faculty members, who worked at Atlanta University during 1973-1974, completed a 68-item Social Attitude Questionnaire. The survey instrument was comprised of 16 factual items designed to elicit ideographic information for stratifying the obtained sample; Steckler's 34-item Social Attitude Scale: Anti-Black/Anti-White (SAS: A-B/A-W) and, two 9-item cross-racial contact scales. Essentially, analysis of variance procedures were applied to question naire responses to test for significance of differences among means on each of the three major hypotheses. The criterion of statistical significance was the .05 level. The reliability, Coefficient Alpha was determined for the SAS: A-B/A-W (.897 and ,9k\, respectively) and the Pre- and Atlanta University Cross-Racial Contact Scales (black .813. white .772; black .769, white .849) by the computer program, TD.

Faculty responses were stratified by race. Frequencies and per centages were derived to ascertain each racial group's responses to each questionnaire item of pertinence to the group. The SAS: A-B and A-W raw attitude scores and their corresponding T-scores were generated for the white and black subjects, respectively. Cross-racial contact quotients were derived.

While stratified according to race, the black and white groups' mean responses to the subscales SAS: A-W and A-B, respectively, were assessed for significant differences among means. Further, responses of the subjects were stratified according to the aforespecified independent variables; and, group means on all variables were subjected to analysis of variance procedures.

1. There was no statistically significant difference in the racially prejudiced attitudes that the black faculty members harbored toward whites and the white faculty members harbored toward blacks (p<.292). Equivalently, the quality of racial attitudes that the black and white faculty members harbored toward each other was the same.

2. The main effect of age (p< .001), of years employed at the University (p<.036), and of University cross-racial contact (p<.008), produced statistically significant differences in the prejudiced attitudes of the study group. Further, the race-by-region reared interaction (p<.019), and the interaction between race and region of graduate school secured highest professional degree (p<.0l4), induced differential effects on the prejudiced attitudes of the study group.

3. The stratification variable, Atlanta University cross racial contact (black p< .033; white p<.001), proved very significant in accounting for differences in degrees of prejudice exhibited by the study subjects. Subjects who participated in high degrees of cross-racial contact at the University evinced reliably more favorable racial attitudes than those who reported only limited contacts with the opposite race.