Ethnic group stereotypes in New Zealand.
|Abstract:||The Stereotype Content Model states that stereotypes express generalised evaluative beliefs that vary according to the degree of warmth and competence ascribed to group members. The present study applied this model to examine the societal stereotypes (or meta-stereotypes) of Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders using a national random postal sample (N = 246). Pakeha (or New Zealanders of European descent) were viewed as highly warm and highly competent relative to other ethnic groups. Stereotypes of Asian and Pacific Nations New Zealanders were mixed, however. Asian New Zealanders were seen as highly competent (comparable to Pakeha), but low in warmth relative to other ethnic groups. Pacific Nations peoples, in contrast, were seen as highly warm (comparable to Pakeha), but low in competence relative to other ethnic groups. Stereotypes of Maori exhibited a strikingly different pattern, and indicated that Maori as a social group were seen as low-to-moderate in both warmth and competence, relative to other ethnic groups. These different mixed stereotype combinations have important implications for understanding how socio-structural characteristics of ethnic group relations (competition and status) foster fundamentally different forms of legitimizing ideology, prejudice and discriminatory behaviour toward different ethnic groups in the New Zealand context.|
|Subject:||Stereotype (Psychology) (Social aspects)|
Sibley, Chris G.
Wootton, Liz W.
Harding, Jessica F.
Hoverd, William James
|Publication:||Name: New Zealand Journal of Psychology Publisher: New Zealand Psychological Society Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Psychology and mental health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 New Zealand Psychological Society ISSN: 0112-109X|
|Issue:||Date: April, 2011 Source Volume: 40 Source Issue: 2|
|Topic:||Event Code: 290 Public affairs|
|Organization:||Organization: University of Auckland|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: New Zealand Geographic Code: 8NEWZ New Zealand|
New Zealand (NZ) is a fairly small nation by international
standards, with a total population currently approaching 4. 3 million.
The NZ population is diverse and, like many nations, is called home by
people from a number of different ethnic backgrounds. According to 2006
census figures, roughly 67-68% of the population are of European descent
(referred to here using the Maori term, Pakeha). Maori, the indigenous
peoples of NZ, form between 14-15% of the population. NZ is also home to
many Pacific Nations peoples, who form around 7% of the population; and
a number of Asian peoples (primarily Chinese), who form approximately 9%
of the population and are the fastest growing ethnic group. (i)
Intergroup relations in NZ appear relatively harmonious; at least
insofar as a lack of organized large-scale ethnic or national conflict
is concerned. NZ was ranked as number one in the world on the 2010
Global Peace Index, indicating it was the most peaceful country in the
world in which to live in that year (Institute for Economics and Peace,
2010). Despite this impressive ranking, there remain considerable
differences in the equality of outcomes experienced by different ethnic
groups residing in NZ. For instance, according to data reported in The
Social Report (2008), Pakeha had a median hourly income of $18.94, Asian
peoples (including the category "other") had a median hourly
income of $15.82, and Maori and Pacific Nations peoples had lower median
hourly incomes of $15.34 and $15.00, respectively.
There are also numerous other differences in the ways in which Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian peoples are socially constructed and (re-)presented in everyday discourse, national news media, and NZ culture in general. These vary from well-publicised political speeches and commentaries variously expressing concern about immigration policies, primarily those relating to Asian peoples (Liu & Mills, 2006) and also somewhat to Pacific Nations immigrants, to political/satirical cartoons such as the recent primetime comedy series bro'Town (produced by a Pacific Nations group), which depicts the experiences of young Pacific Nations youths living in NZ, and plays on societal ethnic stereotypes (see Teaiwa & Mallon, 2005). With regard to Maori, research shows a strong level of support for symbolic aspects of Maori culture and symbols interwoven throughout NZ society, paired with an equally strong resistance toward material reparation for historical and continuing injustices experienced by Maori at the hands of European colonials (Liu, 2005; Sibley, 2010; Sibley & Liu, 2004, 2007). New Zealanders, then, are well exposed to the different ways in which Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders are constructed as essentialised categories. The vast majority of New Zealanders are also well aware, we maintain, of the core characteristics (or stereotyped content) used to repeatedly describe and depict these visible ethnic groups within NZ society.
What might the content of ethnic group stereotypes of Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders look like? How might such stereotypes be produced by socio-structural relations between different ethnic groups residing in NZ? And more importantly, if systematic differences in ethnic group stereotypes are observed, then what implications might this have for understanding how existing inequalities and prejudice are perpetuated and legitimised in NZ? We present data from a national postal sample examining the core content of ethnic group stereotypes in NZ. We apply recent theoretical models of stereotype content developed overseas in an attempt to understand how systemic differences in the content of stereotypes of different ethnic groups residing in NZ might arise, and how specific stereotypes of different ethnic groups might contribute to our understanding of ethnic prejudice and discrimination in NZ's unique socio-political context. It should be noted at this point that we view Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders as socially constructed identities rather than essentialised, biologically determined, immutable categories. We do, however, recognize that these ethnic group labels reflect readily visible social categories that are widely used as terms of reference within society (see Sibley, Houkamau & Hoverd, in press, for additional discussion of this issue). It is with this in mind that we refer to perceptions of these different visible and widely used social category labels.
The Stereotype Content Model
In their founding work on stereotype content, Fiske, Xu, Cuddy, and Glick (1 999) argued that stereotypes of almost all social groups (be they Jews, housewives, rock stars, or tradespersons) express generalised evaluative beliefs that vary according to the degree of warmth and competence ascribed to members of the target group. Why warmth and competence? Judgements on these two dimensions have been shown to be the most important evaluations of self and other in perceptions of both groups and individuals (Abele & Wojciszke, 2007; Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007). The warmth dimension represents the first domain of evaluation that people naturally (and automatically) infer when evaluating unfamiliar others: that is, are members of this group friend or foe? Are their intentions toward my group positive or negative? The second central question concerns perceived competence: is this group capable of acting upon its (inferred negative or positive) intentions toward my group? Taken together then, perceived warmth and competence allow for generalised evaluations of almost all social groups (Fiske et al., 2007).
One of the best-supported hypotheses of the Stereotype Content Model is that most groups receive mixed stereotypes, that is, high on one dimension but low on the other (Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2008). This is a major argument against the classical conceptualisation of intergroup evaluations as purely positive or negative: Groups that are seen as cold and incompetent tend to be the exception rather than the rule. For example, as Glick (2006) has argued, Jewish people in 1940s German society were viewed as highly competent and economically astute, but also as extremely cold, callous, and manipulative. Asian peoples are seen in similar (although less extreme) ways in many contemporary societies; that is, as highly competent, studious high-achievers, who are low in sociability (Lin, Kwan, Cheung, & Fiske, 2005). These same mixed patterns can also be observed in the stereotypes of indigenous peoples that occurred in the colonial era. Ideologies such as the 'White man's burden' reflected the belief that European colonials were enlightening and redeeming the childlike (high warmth) but primitive (low competence) indigenous peoples (Jackman, 1994; Sibley, 2010). The ambivalent character of stereotypes does not, however, prevent prejudice and discrimination (Jackman, 1994). Moreover, specific forms of discrimination can occur because of mixed stereotypes (Cuddy et al., 2007) (we return to the implications of mixed stereotype content in the discussion section).
Typically, research on the Stereotype Content Model has focused on examining patterns of warmth-competence evaluations across broad ranges of social categories as perceived by society (Cuddy et al., 2008). This is a well-validated method for assessing perceptions of the descriptive content of cultural stereotypes, that is, stereotypes as consensually shared within a culture or society (Cialdini & Trost, 1998). These perceptions of the stereotypes held by a society are referred to as meta-stereotypes. Understanding the content of meta-stereotypes is important for understanding discrimination because stereotype content should influence the accepted norms for intergroup relations within a society (cf. Jost & Hamilton, 2005; Stangor & Schaller, 1996), and can guide or justify discriminatory behaviour. Asbrock, Nieuwoudt, Duckitt and Sibley (in press) have shown, for example, that meta-stereotype classifications predicted the extent to which discriminatory and helpful behaviours were viewed as wrong or permissible when directed toward different social groups in both Germany and NZ.
The Origins of Warmth and Competence Stereotypes
Where does the content of stereotypes come from? The Stereotype Content Model holds that evaluations of warmth and competence arise from socio-structural conditions governing intergroup relations within society (Cuddy et al., 2008). Stereotypic judgments about the competence of group members should depend upon the groups' status within society relative to other groups. Groups whose members tend to have higher status and power will tend to be stereotyped as highly competent, whereas groups with less status and power will tend to be viewed as less competent. Cross-culturally, groups with high levels of status tend to be seen as having justly earned such outcomes through the competence and hard work of group members (Cuddy et al., 2009).
Stereotypic judgments about the warmth or sociability of group members depend, in contrast, upon the degree to which members of that group compete with other groups within society, and particularly, to the extent that they compete with the dominant group (in the NZ context, Pakeha). Thus, groups whose members are (subjectively perceived) to be in direct competition with the dominant group for status, resources, power, or other aspects of social value will tend to be viewed as cold and generally possessing an unfriendly or unsociable nature; whereas groups that do not compete with the dominant group (or whose actions do not reduce the resources or opportunities available to dominant group members) will tend to be viewed as warm and friendly within society because their actions will tend to be more congruent with dominant group interests.
Operationalizing Societal Indicators of Competition and Status
Applying this viewpoint to ethnic group stereotypes in NZ, we should therefore observe systematic differences in the levels of warmth and competence ascribed to Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, and European/Pakeha New Zealanders depending upon systemic differences in their social status and the extent to which these groups are perceived as competing with the rest of society.
Extant research has tended to assess this socio-structural hypothesis by measuring participants' perceptions of the perceived status and competitiveness of intergroup relations exhibited by a particular group (e.g., housewives, Asian peoples, homeless people, business people, and feminists) and then examining how such ratings correlate with participants' perceptions of the warmth-coldness and competence-incompetence of those same groups (e.g., Fiske et al., 1999, 2002; Cuddy, Fiske, & Glick, 2007). Perceived status is thought to be reflected by aspects such as job status, economic success, income, and education. Perceived competitiveness is somewhat harder to operationalise, and has typically been assessed using items relating to perceived zero-sum relations between groups (where if one party wins the other loses by definition) versus cooperation or reliance on outgroup members to achieve goals (see Fiske et al., 2002). Although this correlational evidence is consistent with the hypothesised socio-structural causes of stereotype content, as Fiske et al. (1999) emphasize, it is nevertheless based on self-reported perceptions. Testing hypotheses regarding the causal effects of socio-structural factors on psychological phenomena is always difficult; especially when such factors are relatively stable over the time-frame examined. Nevertheless, we should be able to make a persuasive argument for systematic variation in the relative warmth and competence ascribed to Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian and European/Pakeha New Zealanders based on census data and other national indices of social position. We present data pertinent to evaluating perceived and actual systemic differences in group status and intergroup competition, and resulting predictions regarding perceptions of stereotyped ascriptions of competence and warmth in the next sections.
Societal Indicators of Group Position
There are considerable ethnic group differences in a number of indicators of systemic wellbeing, status, and opportunity. Many of these indicators reflect aspects that relate directly to relative status, such as median income, educational attainment, employment status, and differences in job type. What of indicators of competition? Indicators such as probability of incarceration, belief in observable shared (superordinate) values and ideologies, of which religion might be one proximal indicator, frequency of immigration rates and expressions of concern in the media about job loss resulting from immigration, and observable recent events such as protest marches, might all arguably reflect ethnic group differences in the degree of perceived competition. Importantly, in this context, we evaluate competition in terms of possible conflict, resource competition, and ideological differences versus consensual similarities with the dominant or majority group. In terms of considering the socio-structural causes of the content of ethnic group stereotypes within NZ, we consider this to be a more appropriate set of indicators than possible competition between two disadvantaged or minority groups. This is expected because, as predicted by System Justification Theory, societal stereotypes should tend to be most heavily influenced by the dominant group (Jost & Banaji, 1994; Jackman, 1994).
Societal Indicators of Status
At the systemic level Pakeha represent a clear majority, and as a group they tend to be the most advantaged according to a variety of indicators of status and wellbeing (as we elaborate below). As Fiske et al. (1999) noted, stereotypes of high warmth and high competence are typically reserved for the dominant group within society (or in some cases the ingroup), and its close allies. Why might this be the case? Given that they represent the dominant majority, Pakeha should, according to both System Justification Theory (Jost & Banaji, 1994) and Social Dominance Theory (Sidanius & Pratto, 1999), exert more influence on overall social representations of NZ national character and values. Research indicates for instance, that social representations of NZ national character contain a core component representing Anglicized/ monocultural aspects that position European/Pakeha culture as a normative element, if not the normative element, of superordinate national identity (Sibley, Hoverd, & Liu, in press).
Owing to their high status and dominant social position, Pakeha should thus be better placed than other ethnic groups to project the ideologies and values (e.g., meritocracy) that benefit their social position within NZ (Sibley & Duckitt, 2010; Sibley & Wilson, 2007). Research supports this dominant group projection hypothesis in relation to sexism. For example, perceptions of men's societal sexism have been shown to predict longitudinal change in not only men's but also women's internalization of sexist ideology in NZ (Sibley et al., 2009). The stereotypes held by Pakeha should thus tend over time to become consensually shared by other ethnic groups within society. This should include the promotion of stereotypes of Pakeha as high in both competence and warmth; high competence because Pakeha as an ethnic group are high in status; and high warmth because Pakeha should form the referent group with which other minority ethnic groups within NZ society are judged to compete to varying degrees. This perspective is similar to recent extensions of the Stereotype Content Model proposed by Cuddy et al. (2007), who measured the perceived competitiveness of different groups with 'the rest of society.'
There are clear and consistent differences between Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, and Pakeha New Zealanders according to numerous national-level indices of perceived status. For instance, in addition to the income differences noted earlier, 44% of Pakeha and 66% of Asian New Zealanders leave secondary school with university entrance, compared to 18% of Maori and 20% of Pacific Nations New Zealanders (Education Report, 2007). In 2006, 30.1% of Pakeha and 27.2% of Asian New Zealanders had a Bachelors degree or higher, compared to 6.3% and 4.9% of Maori and Pacific Nations New Zealanders, respectively. Similar patterns are also observed when one considers broad differences in occupation type. According to 2006 census figures, 53.7% of Pakeha and 53.8% of Asian New Zealanders who were over 15 years of age and worked in paid employment did so in the following types of jobs: legislators, administrators and managers, professionals, technicians and associate professionals, and clerks. Only 38.4% of Maori and 36.2% of Pacific Nations New Zealanders tended to work in these types of occupations. The pattern is reversed, however, when one considers the following combined job categories: trade workers, plant and machine operators, labourers and elementary service workers. Twenty one percent of Pakeha and 17.6% of Asian New Zealanders tended to work in these types of occupations, compared to 32.2% of Maori and 35.9% of Pacific Nations peoples (Statistics New Zealand, 2006).
These are just some of the many statistics that suggest that Pakeha and Asian New Zealanders tend to have greater access to education and financial power, and tend to work in higher status jobs than Maori and Pacific Nations peoples in NZ. According to the Stereotype Content Model, statistics such as these would generally suggest that Pakeha and Asian New Zealanders should tend to be stereotyped as higher in competence than Maori and Pacific Nations New Zealanders.
Societal Indicators of Intergroup Competition
Reliable indicators of societal competition, which should predict stereotypes of warmth, are more difficult to directly assess. However, analysis of recent political discourse, and some available statistics do provide indirect indicators that should covary with perceptions of societal competition, and hence the degree to which different ethnic groups are stereotyped as cold versus warm.
In terms of media representations, for instance, there has been considerable furor in recent years about Asian immigration, and perceived economic competition with Asian peoples. Liu and Mills (2005) document one of the most well-known 'episodes' of anti-immigration discourse in the NZ media. This focused on allegations of racism directed toward Winston Peters, a NZ politician, who argued for stricter immigration policies and limits to the number of immigrants allowed into NZ. Much of the discourse surrounding immigration, in our opinion, tends to focus specifically on Asian immigration, and seems to reflect the sentiment that increased numbers of educated Asian immigrants coming into the country will lead to less available jobs for other New Zealanders.
What of Pacific Nation peoples? Teaiwa and Mallon (2005) provide a compelling argument that Pacific Nations peoples exist in an ambivalent kinship with other ethnic groups in NZ. One aspect of this ambivalence, they argue, centres around the fact that although many aspects of Pacific Nations cultures, and specific individuals of Pacific Nations ancestry, are embodied as representing NZ, there remain harsh economic disparities between Pacific Nations peoples as a group and many other New Zealanders. As Teaiwa and Mallon (2005, p. 207) argue, Pacific Nations peoples "are prominent on the landscapes of sports and the arts. The achievements of a few, however, are counterbalanced by poor socioeconomic indicators for the majority of Pacific people." This generally suggests that Pacific Nations peoples and their culture are seen as providing a unique contribution to NZ identity, and cooperating with the majority group in regard to many of its goals, such as sporting success. Such observations would generally suggest that Pacific Nations peoples should be seen as complementing rather than directly competing with the dominant majority (White European) ethnic group, and hence society in general.
Finally, although Maori are seen as uniquely contributing to national identity in many of the same domains as Pacific Nations peoples (such as sports, the arts, and symbolic representations of national identity; see Sibley & Liu, 2004, 2007; Sibley et al., 2008); we argue that there are other critical socio-structural factors that should counterbalance these effects in terms of perceived competition. Unlike Pacific Nations peoples, we argue that Maori should be perceived as competing with other social groups in NZ, although for different reasons than are Asian peoples. Maori are the Indigenous peoples of NZ, and The Treaty of Waitangi (signed between Maori and the Crown in 1840) guaranteed certain unalienable rights to Maori (see Orange, 1992). The Treaty, declared as a legal "nullity" in 1877 and without legal standing for most of the 20th century, began its rehabilitation in the late 1960's as part of the civil rights movement. Successive generations of Maori have subsequently called The Crown to account for historical injustices, including numerous instances of land alienation.
A recent example is the call by Maori for The Crown (and Pakeha in general) to recognise the legitimacy of Maori claims to areas of the foreshore (the land between the high and low tide), to which Maori have argued they are legally entitled under common law. This resulted in a large-scale and well organized protest march on parliament in 2004, and generated considerable debate amongst many Pakeha and also other New Zealanders (see Kirkwood, Liu, & Weatherall, 2005; Sibley, Robertson, & Kirkwood, 2005). We argue that these factors contribute to an essential tension between general support for the symbolic aspects of Maori identity and culture, which are seen to positively distinguish a unique NZ identity, and a substantial degree of opposition and resistance to calls by Maori to recognise the legitimacy of claims for reparation based on observed inequalities and historical injustices (Liu, 2005; Sibley, 2010; Sibley & Liu, 2004, 2007; Sibley, Liu, Duckitt & Khan, 2008). These factors, we suspect, should result in perceptions of a moderate or midrange level of intergroup competition between Maori and Pakeha for material resources.
Pilot study of perceptions of ethnic group position and intergroup relations
Pilot data also suggests that Asian and Maori peoples (but not Pacific Nations peoples) are seen as competing in zero-sum relations with the rest of society. Ninety four respondents replied to a postal sample of people randomly selected from the NZ electoral roll examining this issue (conducted in 2006). Perceived status was assessed using three items, and competiveness using one item selected from the scales employed by Fiske et al. (2002). For instance, an item assessing perceived status was: "How economically successful have members of this group been?" Perceived competitiveness, in contrast, was assessed using the item: "If members of this group get special breaks (such as preference in hiring decisions), this is likely to make things more difficult for me." Responses were scored on a scale ranging from -4 (low) to 4 (high).
These preliminary data indicated that perceptions of status were fairly consistent in rank order with national indicators, with Pacific Nations New Zealanders seen as lowest in status (M = -1.07, SD = 1.69), Maori seen as slightly higher but also relatively low in status (M = -.79, SD = 1.84), and Asian (M = 2.30, SD = 1.26) and Pakeha (M = 2.38, SD = 1.29) New Zealanders seen as being relatively high in status. Relative differences in perceived competitiveness were also fairly similar in rank order to estimates based on the aforementioned national-level indicators, with Pacific Nations peoples being seen as the lowest in perceived competitiveness of the three minority groups (M = .24, SD = 2.16). Asian peoples were seen as somewhat higher in perceived competitiveness (M = .40, SD = 2.27). Maori, according to this data were highest in perceived competitiveness, being rated substantially higher than both Pacific Nations and Asian New Zealanders (M = 1.09, SD = 2.11).
Overview and guiding hypotheses
The aforementioned systemic differences and historical and contemporary observations clearly indicate that the four numerically largest ethnic groups in NZ (Pakeha, Maori, Asian, and Pacific Nations peoples) differ systemically in relative status. They also strongly suggest that these groups should differ in the extent to which they are perceived to compete with or cooperatively relate to the majority or dominant (Pakeha) group and society in general. This is also supported by results from the aforementioned pilot study. Based on predictions derived from the Stereotype Content Model, and given our analysis of systemic differences and the historical and contemporary context of ethnic group relations, we expected that stereotypes of Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations and Asian New Zealanders would exhibit the following patterns:
First, given that Pakeha are relatively high in status and also represent the dominant majority group within NZ, we expected that Pakeha would tend to be consensually stereotyped as relatively high in both competence and warmth. Given that Asian peoples in NZ tend to be relatively high in status, but also tend to be perceived as competing with the majority group for economic and material resources, we predicted that Asian New Zealanders would tend to be consensually stereotyped as highly competent but relatively low in warmth. We expected that stereotypes of Pacific Nations New Zealanders would display the opposite mixed content. Given that Pacific Nations peoples tend to be relatively disadvantaged and thus should be seen as relatively low in status (as indexed by national indicators of income, for example), but as being relatively low in their level of direct competitive intergroup relations with the majority group, we predicted that Pacific Nations New Zealanders would tend to be consensually stereotyped as high in warmth but relatively low in competence.
Predictions for Maori were less clear cut. The analysis presented above suggests that Maori, as a group, tend to be relatively disadvantaged socioeconomically (low status). In terms of competitive intergroup relations, Maori have called Pakeha to account for past injustices and there has been considerable debate in recent years regarding settlements under the Treaty of Waitangi. This should predict increased perceptions of competitive intergroup relations. However, there is also considerable support for the symbolic aspects of Maori culture amongst the Pakeha majority, and research indicates, for example, that Pakeha automatically associate both their own group and Maori as contributing equally to the nation in terms of symbolic representations (Sibley & Liu, 2007; Sibley, Liu & Khan, 2008). This might attenuate perceptions of competitive intergroup relations. In terms of resource-based aspects of intergroup relations, we reasoned that these factors should therefore contribute to perceptions of Maori as existing in relative competition with the dominant (Pakeha) majority group. On this basis we therefore predicted that Maori would tend to be stereotyped as being of moderate-to-midrange in competence, but also possibly be stereotyped as moderate-to-midrange in warmth. Thus we expected to observe a pattern in which Maori might be stereotyped as higher in competence than Pacific Nations New Zealanders but perhaps lower in stereotyped competence than Asian and Pakeha New Zealanders. With regard to warmth, in contrast, we expected that Maori might be stereotyped as higher in warmth and sociability than Asian New Zealanders but perhaps lower in stereotyped warmth than Pacific Nations and Pakeha New Zealanders.
We tested these predictions using a national postal sample of people randomly selected from the NZ electoral roll. Participants responded to a postal questionnaire in which they reported on their perceptions of how Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations and Asian New Zealanders were stereotyped within NZ society in general. This measure therefore assesses descriptive, rather the prescriptive aspects of stereotypes (how people think groups are seen in society, rather than perceptions of how they ought to be seen). This has the advantage that perceptions of societal-level stereotypes should be less biased by socially desirable responding than would be the case if we had assessed participants' personal stereotypes.
Participants and sampling procedure
Participants were 246 registered NZ voters who responded to a postal survey that was mailed to 1250 people selected from the NZ electoral roll (1000 in an initial sample, 250 in booster samples). Ninety eight surveys were returned unopened (due to invalid addresses), yielding an estimated response rate of 21% (246 responses of 1152 valid possible responses).
Names and addresses were randomly selected from the NZ electoral roll, and were stratified according to electorate. A total of 1000 participants were initially sampled from the general electoral roll. Given low initial response rates amongst Maori and Pacific Nations peoples (relative to census figures), a booster sample of 150 people were selected from the Maori electoral roll, and a booster sample of 100 participants were sampled from South Auckland electorates (an area with a high number of Pacific Nations peoples).
The sample distribution of self-identified ethnic group membership for the final sample was roughly comparable to census data (as reported in the opening paragraph of the introduction); with 64.6% (n = 159) participants self-identifying with the ethnic group label, NZ European/Pakeha, 12.6% (n = 31) self-identifying as Maori, 7.3% (n 18) self-identifying as being of Pacific Nations ancestry, 8.5% self-identifying as being of Asian ancestry, and 6.9% (n = 17) identifying with another ethnic group or not reporting their ethnic group identification. Our sample was however, biased in favour of women with 63% (n = 155) of the sample identifying as female and 37% identifying as male (n = 91). This is a higher proportion of women than that reported by census data, which estimates that 51.2% of the population is female. Participants in our sample ranged from 18 to 89 years of age (M = 44.88, SD = 17.30). Note that we use the term Pakeha to refer to all participants who self-identified with the ethnic group category NZ European/ Pakeha.
A cover letter (printed on Auckland University letterhead) introduced the research as a study of social attitudes and beliefs about NZ, and informed participants that the research was being conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland (in conjunction with collaborators at other universities). The cover letter also emphasised that the research would contribute to the scientific study of attitudes and beliefs about ethnic groups in NZ, that participants' names and addresses had been randomly selected from the NZ electoral roll, and assured participants of the anonymity of their responses. Participants returned their completed questionnaires using a franked (prepaid) envelope that was addressed to the principal investigator. This study was conducted in 2006 and 2007.
Participants' perceptions of the target groups' competence and warmth were assessed using the measures developed by Fiske et al. (1999). We examined the content of stereotypes toward the four main ethnic groups residing in NZ: Maori, Pacific Nations peoples, Asian peoples and NZ European/Pakeha (in randomised order). The scales assessing perceived societal stereotypes of each ethnic group were administered using the following instructions:
After reading these instructions, participants then completed stereotype ratings referring to that target ethnic group. Ratings were assessed using the following item stem: "How ... is this group, as viewed by society?" Three items assessed the competence of each target ethnic group: competent, intelligent, and confident. Five items assessed the warmth of each target ethnic group: warm, likable, sincere, good-natured, and tolerant. Thus, participants completed four versions of this scale, which referred in turn to their opinions of the general degree to which each of the four target ethnic groups (Maori New Zealanders, Pacific Nations New Zealanders, Asian New Zealanders, European/Pakeha New Zealanders) were stereotyped as competent and warm in NZ society. Note that each target ethnic group was referred to explicitly as . New Zealanders (for example, Asian New Zealanders, Pacific Nations New Zealanders).
Items were rated on a scale ranging from -4 (not at all) through the midpoint of 0 (somewhat) to 4 (extremely). The items assessing the perceived warmth of Maori ([alpha] = .76), Pacific Nations peoples ([alpha] = .82), Asian peoples ([alpha] = .75) and Pakeha ([alpha] = .82), all displayed acceptable internal reliability and were all above the conventional threshold of .70. The items assessing the perceived competence of Maori ([alpha] = .86), Pacific Nations peoples ([alpha] = .88), Asian peoples ([alpha] = .87) and Pakeha ([alpha] = .88) also all displayed acceptable internal reliability. These estimates are consistent with those reported in previous research using these scales (e.g., Fiske et al., 1999, 2002).
Mean levels of the relative perceived warmth and competence of societal stereotypes (meta-stereotypes) of Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, and Pakeha peoples are presented in Figure 1. Relative differences in meta-stereotypes of the warmth and competence of ethnic groups in NZ society were examined using a 4 (target ethnic group: Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, and Pakeha) x 2 (stereotype dimension: warmth, competence) repeated measures ANOVA. A strong and significant interaction was observed (F(3,729) = 280.98, p < .01,partial [[eta].sup.2] = .54). As we discuss in detail below, this interaction indicated that meta-stereotypes of target ethnic groups differed in their relative levels of warmth and competence.
[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]
As shown in Figure 1, and consistent with predictions, Bonferroni-corrected pairwise comparisons indicated that meta-stereotypes of Pakeha and Pacific Nations peoples were comparable in warmth ([M.sub.diff] = .09, se = .12, p = .99), and moreover, meta-stereotypes of both groups were higher in warmth than meta-stereotypes of Maori ([M.sub.diff] = .97, se = .12, p < .01; [M.sub.diff] = .88, se = .11, p < .01) and Asian New Zealanders ([M.sub.diff] = 1.36, se = .11, p < .01; [M.sub.diff] = 1.28, se = .12, p < .01). Meta-stereotypes of Maori, in turn, were significantly warmer than meta-stereotypes of Asian New Zealanders ([M.sub.diff] = .39, se = .13, p < .01).
As inspection of Figure 1 also reveals, meta-stereotypes of competence revealed a different pattern. Meta-stereotypes of Pakeha were significantly higher in competence than meta-stereotypes of the other three ethnic groups. Meta-stereotypes of Asian New Zealanders were next highest in competence, being slightly lower than those of Pakeha ([M.sub.diff] = -.45, se = .09, p < .01). Meta-stereotypes of Asian New Zealanders were, in turn, higher in competence than meta-stereotypes of Maori ([M.sub.diff] = 2.38, se = .12, p < .01) and Pacific Nations New Zealanders ([M.sub.diff] = 2.83, se = .12, p < .01). Finally, meta-stereotypes of Maori were, in turn, higher in competence than those of Pacific Nations New Zealanders ([M.sub.diff] = .41, se = .10, p < .01).
We conducted additional exploratory analyses examining the extent to which meta-stereotypes were viewed consistently by participants from different ethnic groups. We examined this issue by adding participant's self-identified ethnicity (Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, or Asian) as an additional between-subjects factor and then re-running the aforementioned analyses. We opted not to include people who selected the ethnic group category 'other' or who failed to report their ethnicity in this analysis. Thus we tested a 4 (participant's self-identified ethnicity: Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian) x 4 (target ethnic group: Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, and Pakeha) x 2 (stereotype dimension: warmth, competence) ANOVA with repeated measures on the second and third factors.
There was a significant (Greenhouse-Geisser corrected) threeway interaction between participant's ethnicity, target ethnic group, and stereotype dimension (F(7.22,536.87) = 3.34, p < .01, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .04). However, as indicated by the partial [[eta].sup.2], this three-way interaction accounted for relatively little of the variance relative to the two-way interaction between target ethnic group and stereotype dimension which remained strong and significant (F(2,669) = 92.95, p < .01, partial [[eta].sup.2] = .29). Post-hoc analyses indicated that this three-way interaction occurred because Maori, Pacific Nations and Asian New Zealanders consistently estimated that Pakeha to be perceived by society as significantly more competent than Pakeha estimated their group to be perceived. Asian participants also estimated that Pacific Nations peoples were seen as less competent by society than participants from other ethnic groups estimated Pacific Nations peoples to be perceived. Maori participants reported societal stereotypes of Asian New Zealanders that were near identical to those reported by Pakeha participants (cf. Ward & Lin, 2005). To reiterate, these effects were, however, extremely subtle, and the general trend depicted in Figure 1 remained extremely robust and consistent even when these slight differences in the perceptions of participants from different ethnic groups were examined.
The Stereotype Content Model holds that the content of stereotypes of almost any group one cares to name can be summarised in terms of warmth versus coldness and competence versus incompetence (Fiske et al., 1999, 2002). The model further posits that variation in these two dimensions is produced by socio-structural aspects of intergroup relations. Differences in group status predict stereotypes of competence (groups higher in status are seen as more competent) and differences in the level of societal competition predict stereotypes of warmth (with groups that are seen as competing with others in society stereotyped as cold and unfriendly, while those seen as cooperating with other groups in society stereotyped as warm and sociable).
The present study applied this model to examine meta-stereotypes of Pakeha, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders using a national random postal sample (N = 246). Participants in our sample reported on their perceptions of how these four ethnic groups were viewed in NZ society. As far as we are aware this is the first study to systematically explore the content of warmth-competence stereotypes of the most numerically frequent and clearly delineated ethnic groups within NZ society. It is also the first study to link variation in the content of ethnic group stereotypes together with systemic indicators of socio-economic status and competition-cooperation.
Our results emphasise a striking pattern in the (often mixed) content of stereotypes of Pakeha/NZ Europeans, Maori, Pacific Nations, and Asian New Zealanders. Pakeha were viewed as highly warm and highly competent relative to other ethnic groups. Stereotypes of Asian and Pacific Nations New Zealanders were mixed, however. Pacific Nations peoples were seen as highly warm (comparable to Pakeha), but low in competence relative to other ethnic groups. Asian New Zealanders were seen as highly competent (comparable to Pakeha), but low in warmth relative to other ethnic groups. This mixed high-competent, low-warmth stereotype of Asian New Zealanders is also consistent with data presented in the study, Perceptions of Asian Peoples (2007), which also reported, using a large (N = 1001) telephone sample of New Zealanders, that Asian peoples tended to be perceived as higher in perceived societal competence than warmth/likeability. (ii)
Stereotypes of Maori exhibited a strikingly different pattern. Maori were seen as low-to-moderate in both warmth and competence, relative to other ethnic groups. Maori were viewed by society as less warm and less competent than Pakeha/NZ Europeans, and unlike Asian and Pacific Nations peoples, were not ascribed strong positive stereotyped evaluations in either domain. On the other hand, Maori were seen as somewhat more competent than Pacific Nations peoples and somewhat warmer than Asian peoples. Taken together, these findings have important implications for understanding the socio-political context of inter-ethnic group relations within NZ, and (as we discuss below) offer insights into the ways in which different ethnic groups may be differentially discriminated against, and thus how prejudice and discrimination may be most effectively reduced.
Implications for understanding differences in discrimination
Recent extensions of the Stereotype Content Model offer specific predictions about how different stereotypes should generate different types of prejudice, negative emotional reactions, and discriminatory behaviour (Cuddy et al., 2007). In their Behaviours from Intergroup Affect and Stereotypes (BIAS) Map, Cuddy et al. (2007) distinguished between two dimensions of intergroup behaviours by their directedness (active or passive) and their valence (facilitation or harm). Active behaviours, according to this perspective represent those that are produced in an effortful deliberative manner, whereas passive behaviours reflect those that tend to occur as the result of other goals, or that occur with minimal deliberative effort or overt goal-directed intention. With regard to valence, facilitating behaviours are those that produce outcomes that are desired or positive for the outgroup, whereas harmful behaviours are those that have negative or detrimental outcomes for the outgroup and its members.
As outlined in Figure 2, the BIAS Map states that warmth stereotypes should elicit active facilitation (proactive helping behaviour, offering protection), whereas groups seen as cold should be more likely to encounter active discrimination (intentions to harm, sabotage, and act aggressively toward members of the group). Competence stereotypes, in contrast, should predict passive versus active behaviours, with groups seen as high in competence predicting passive facilitation (such as associating with and cooperating with group members), and groups seen as low in competence predicting passive harmful behaviours (such as neglecting, demeaning, and ignoring the opinions of members of the group). Active facilitation and harm are fairly straightforwardly defined, as we discuss above. Passive behaviours, in contrast, are more difficult to define. When discussing passive behaviours, Cuddy et al. (2007, p. 633) argued that "in passive facilitation (i.e. acting with), one accepts obligatory association or convenient cooperation with a group. Such behaviour is passive because contact is not desired but merely tolerated in the service of other goals; facilitation of the group is a mere by-product." Passive harm, in contrast, reflects behaviours where "one demeans or distances other groups by diminishing their social worth though excluding, ignoring, or neglecting... Institutionally, [this] involves disrespecting the needs of some groups or limiting access to necessary resources such as education, housing, and healthcare" (Cuddy et al., 2007, p. 633).
[FIGURE 2 OMITTED]
The data on stereotype content presented here generate specific predictions about the different types of discriminatory and helping behaviours that should be most frequently encountered by Pacific Nations, Asian, Maori and Pakeha New Zealanders. These predictions could be tested using the BIAS-Treatment Scale recently developed by Sibley (2011) to index experiences of different forms of discriminatory behaviour people experience in their day-to-day lives. Given that Pakeha are seen as both competent and warm, the Bias Map predicts that members of this ethnic group will tend to be admired, and will tend to experience both active and passive facilitation from other groups. This might to some extent reflect the behaviours that Pakeha direct toward other ingroup members, given that Pakeha constitute the majority of NZ society.
The BIAS Map predicts quite different emotional expressions and behavioural tendencies directed toward other ethnic groups in NZ, however. Given that Asian New Zealanders tend to be stereotyped as relatively low in warmth but high in competence, they should as a group tend to elicit envy from others, and be passively facilitated by other groups in society, but also be more likely to experience overt acts of discrimination resulting in active harm. The model therefore predicts that Asian New Zealanders will tend to be associated with and cooperated with, but only because it is perceived as beneficial to the self and/or ingroup (such as hiring an Asian person because they are assumed to be smart). At the same time, however, the model predicts that Asian New Zealanders should also tend to experience more active harm than other ethnic groups. This might include an increased frequency of bullying, insulting and verbally abusing, harassing, and in extreme cases, hate crimes. Consistent with this possibility, Sibley (2011) recently reported that Asian male undergraduates in NZ experienced higher levels of active harmful behaviour (and also passive facilitation) in their day-to-day lives than Asian female undergraduates or Pakeha male or female undergraduates. We suspect that the high level of fear of crime reported by Asian New Zealanders might also reflect this increased probability of active harm (60% of Asian peoples reported a moderate-tohigh fear of crime compared to 47% of Maori and Pacific Nations peoples, and 36% of Pakeha according to data presented in The Social Report, 2008).
It is important to note at this point that these predictions refer to relative levels; we are not stating that Asian New Zealanders should categorically experience active harm, but an important implication of our data is that Asian New Zealanders will tend to experience relatively more active harm behaviours than other ethnic groups, although the absolute frequency may still be low. This relative difference should nevertheless dramatically affect perceived safety and quality of life, as the aforementioned data from The Social Report (2008) emphasizes.
What about the behaviours directed toward Pacific Nations New Zealanders? Given that Pacific Nations New Zealanders tend to be stereotyped as relatively high in warmth but low in competence, they should as a group tend to elicit pity from others, and be actively facilitated by other groups in society but also passively harmed. According to the BIAS Map, at the institutional level, active facilitation should involve interventions such as overt antidiscrimination policies, assistance programs and affirmative action, and general helping and assistance behaviours. This combination of subjectively positive official helping behaviour but passively demeaning and diminishing the group is reminiscent of Benevolent Sexism (Glick and Fiske, 1996) and general paternalistic and patronising ideologies discussed by Jackman (1994), which tend to be directed toward groups that have limited power or direct social influence within society.
Finally, the BIAS Map also offers s pecific predictions regarding the emotions and behaviours that will tend to be directed toward Maori as a social group. Given that Maori tend to be stereotyped as relatively low in both competence and warmth, the BIAS Map suggests that Maori should tend to elicit relatively more contempt than other ethnic groups. Maori as a social group should also tend to elicit moderate levels of both active and passive harm. Thus, Maori should tend to experience passive harm-related behaviours, such as disrespect to cultural needs and generally patronising behaviours, although they should not experience these behaviours to the same extent as Pacific Nations peoples. At the same time, however, Maori should also tend to experience some of the same expressions of active harm as Asian New Zealanders. Thus, in addition to receiving passive harm-related behaviours, Maori should also tend to experience more goal-directed and overt acts of verbal and physical aggression.
Future research directions, suggestions for policy-based interventions, and conclusions
These predictions may seem pessimistic to many readers. Certainly, research on the types of discrimination experienced by different ethnic groups is not a happy topic. It is, however, an extremely important one if, as a society, we want to understand the different acts of discrimination which different ethnics groups may be more or less likely to experience in NZ society, and therefore develop interventions that aim to reduce these negative outcomes. In the opening paragraph of this manuscript, we commented that, in our opinion, when compared to many other nations, intergroup relations in NZ appear relatively harmonious--at least insofar as a lack of organised large-scale ethnic group conflict is concerned. It is important to keep such observations in mind when interpreting our findings. They do not indicate that Asian people will always be actively harmed, or that Maori will always be both passively and actively harmed. What they do suggest, however, is that in conditions where social norms allow people to readily express discrimination, these differential societal stereotypes should govern relative differences in the probability to which these different forms of discrimination are directed toward people on the basis of their perceived ethnic group membership (Asbrock et al., in press). Hopefully, the absolute levels of these different forms of discriminatory and harmful behaviour will remain fairly low and continue to be further reduced.
How might these findings be applied to reduce discrimination and prejudice? Glick and Fiske (2001) argued that markedly different strategies may be needed to combat different aspects of mixed stereotypes, and thus resulting active and passive forms of harm and discrimination. In the NZ context, our data indicate that campaigns aimed at reducing negative stereotypes of Asian peoples (and hence active harm behaviours) should target negative stereotypes of Asian peoples as cold, rather than instead merely reinforcing (already held) stereotypes of Asian peoples as competent. Indeed, as Glick and Fiske (2001) argue, one insidious aspect of mixed stereotypes is that campaigns emphasizing the competence of Asian peoples may merely reinforce tendencies toward active harm and passive facilitation, given that stereotypes of Asian peoples as cold remain unaffected. Prejudice reduction campaigns aiming to reduce discrimination and negative stereotyping of Pacific Nations peoples, in contrast, will probably be most effective if they focus on emphasizing competence. According to the Stereotype Content Model, attempts to reduce prejudice toward Pacific Nations peoples by emphasising sociability and warmth would likely do little more than reinforce paternalistic forms of prejudice and tendencies toward active facilitation but passive harm. Thus, we argue that contextualised interventions targeting specific aspects of warmth-competence stereotypes are needed depending upon the particular group in question. Prejudice reduction campaigns aiming to change stereotypes of Maori, in contrast, should probably carefully consider simultaneously targeting both dimensions of stereotype content.
Although the above suggestions provide a promising avenue for prejudice reduction, it is important to recognise that they do not address the underlying causes of differences in stereotype content. A comment clarifying our perspective on the hypothesised socio-structural causes of warmth-competence stereotypes seems warranted at this point. The Stereotype Content Model proposes that status and intergroup competition are distal causes of stereotype content. The observed patterns of stereotype content were certainly consistent with our analysis of systemic differences in these structural aspects of interethnic group relations in NZ. This does not however prove a causal relationship (although we agree with Fiske et al's (1999, 2002) view that these sociostructural causes represent the most likely distal cause of stereotype content). In the long term, the most effective way to alter societal stereotypes will likely require altering the sociostructural conditions that foster systemic inequality in status and access to resources, and perceptions of intergroup competition given resource scarcity. These are not easy things to change, and even if changed, socio-cognitive perceptual biases may be slow to follow.
There is a wide body of literature in social cognition that emphasises the self-maintaining nature of stereotypes. According to this general socio-cognitive perspective, existing stereotypes (or schemata about group characteristics) often drive us to automatically see what we expect to see. Thus we are more likely to attend to and encode or remember stereotype-consistent information rather than stereotype-inconsistent information. We are more likely to form stable internal attributions about observed behaviours that are consistent with our pre-existing stereotypes and discount observations that are not. Perhaps most troubling, we are also more likely to act in ways toward group members that tend to elicit responses that in turn confirm our beliefs--a form of self-fulfilling prophecy (see Fiske & Taylor, 2008, for a general overview). Taken together, we therefore view sociostructural factors as a distal or removed cause of stereotypes, which once formed, tend to be maintained by more proximal psychological (socio-cognitive) processes.
All of these factors, both structural and psychological, converge on the conclusion that enacting positive change in stereotyping is a long-term endeavour, that will require multiple approaches, targeting both structural factors and incorporating tailored interventions that focus on specific content domains depending upon the target group. In terms of policy and intervention evaluation, one important part of this process is therefore to collect detailed and representative data on stereotype content so that changes in stereotypes can be tracked over time, and social policy and the focus of prejudice reduction campaigns can be adjusted accordingly. We hope that the current data on the content of warmth and competence stereotypes of Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, and Pakeha New Zealanders will provide new knowledge that can inform future interventions, and provide an initial baseline against which progress in stereotype and prejudice reduction can be tracked.
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Department of Psychology,
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019,
Chris G. Sibley, University of Auckland
Kate Stewart, University of Auckland
Carla Houkamau, University of Auckland
Sam Manuela, University of Auckland
Ryan Perry, University of Auckland
Liz W. Wootton, University of Auckland
Jessica F. Harding, New York University
Yang Zhang, University of Auckland
Nikhil Sengupta, University of Auckland
Andrew Robertson, Colmar Brunton, New Zealand
William James Hoverd, Victoria University of Wellington
Tim West-Newman, University of Auckland
Frank Asbrock, Philipps-University of Marburg, Germany
(i) These percentages are estimates, and include people who identified with more than one ethnic group. People who identified with multiple ethnic groups were counted multiple times, and are included in each ethnic group with which they identified.
(ii) This report focused specifically on perceptions of Asian peoples, and did not examine the content of stereotypes of other ethnic groups.
This section examines how [Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, European/Pakeha] New Zealanders are considered in New Zealand society. We are not interested in your personal beliefs but in how you think [Maori, Pacific Nations, Asian, European/ Pakeha] New Zealanders are viewed in general by other New Zealanders.
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