THE PRICE OF PRIVILEGE: THE EFFECTS OF THE AMERICAN CASTE SYSTEM ON THE DEEP SOUTH WHITE

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Abstract:

It is usually assumed that the white man benefits from the American “caste” system. A Gallup sample of Northern, Border South, and Deep South whites was compared on the basis of the Tomkins-Horn Picture Arrangement Test, administered in 1954. Differences between the North and Border South did not replicate. More frequent among Deep South whites (compared with Northern whites) after cross-validating and correcting for age, sex, education, vocabulary IQ, rural-urban residence, population density, and degree of industrialization were: Low work and Low work endurance (i.e., the “horse-driver phenomenon,” a sapping of achievement and motivation by feelings of being unable to compete on equal terms as a consequence of ascribed upper status)∼ Submissive authoritarianism, and Compulsive negativism. So-called upper “caste” status thus is psychologically destructive.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1973.1.2.161

Publication date: January 1, 1973

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