Volume 55, Issue 3 p. 445-472

Prejudice as Group Position: Microfoundations of a Sociological Approach to Racism and Race Relations

Lawrence D. Bobo

Lawrence D. Bobo

Harvard University 1

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First published: 17 December 2002
Citations: 464


This research integrates and elaborates the basic premises of Blumer's group position theory of prejudice. It does so in order to make explicit, more fully integrated, and empirically pliable the theoretical foundations of a sociological analysis of the nature of racial prejudice. In so doing, the research identifies important areas of agreement between Gordon Allport's approach to prejudice and that of Blumer. Blumer neither provided a full synthetic statement of his several major pieces on prejudice nor pursued sustained empirical research in the area. Hence, the present article (1) identifies the core assumptions of the group position model, (2) summarizes a recent line of empirical work examining claims embedded in the group position approach, (3) specifies how this approach differs from other closely related approaches, and (4) identifies major tasks for future theoretical and empirical work.