Exploring the Missing Element of Racism: The Unintentional Factor

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  • Definitions of racism often do not consider group specificities or contextual factors, with existing measures failing to discern the features of individuals who are well-meaning, but unintentionally perpetuate systemic differences. The present studies sought to assess the validity of the newly created Unintentional Racism Scale (URS) that would address the nuances of racism towards Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Participants (Study 1, N = 219; Study 2, N = 185) responded to 23 vignettes varying in ambiguity and context. The URS used a scenario format; for each, participants rated nine dimensions that reflect whether the behaviour depicted is racist and whether it is appropriate. The final scale included 15 scenarios that tapped into four forms of unintentional racism (microaggressions, paternalism, glorified differences, and justification of past actions). Psychometric analyses revealed that the four forms had acceptable reliability and demonstrated construct and criterion validity with other indices of racism and outcome measures.

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  • Copyright © 2020 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2020


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