The other side of the diaspora: Race, threat, and the social psychology of evacuee reception in predominantly white communities

Jennifer S. Hunt, Brian E. Armenta, April L. Seifert, Jessica L. Snowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article provides a social psychological framework for understanding the reception of Hurricane Katrina evacuees in predominantly White relocation communities. According to this framework, racial prejudice and perceptions of economic and social threat are likely to have an important influence on residents' reactions to the evacuees. In the "Katrina in my Community Study," the authors surveyed 532 residents from Colorado Springs, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and San Antonio, TX-three cities that had African American populations well below the national average and that received large numbers of Katrina evacuees. The respondent's evaluations of and judgments about the evacuees, including overall attitudes and support for continued assistance, were explained to a greater extent by perceived threat and prejudice than by their actual experiences with the evacuees. Thus, at least in predominantly White communities, race and subjective feelings of threat may frame decisions about helping newcomers to a community, even when need is salient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-447
Number of pages11
JournalOrganization and Environment
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2009

Keywords

  • Disasters
  • Intergroup dynamics
  • Prejudice
  • Stereotyped attitudes
  • Threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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