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Managing the Moral Accountability of Stereotyping

  • Author(s): Whitehead, Kevin A;
  • et al.
Abstract

This article addresses some ways in which stereotypes and stereotyping are treated as morally accountable by social psychologists, their research participants, and participants in everyday interactions. I focus in particular on closely examining some deployments and responses to stereotypes in everyday interactions by applying conversation analytic and discursive psychological approaches to recorded interactions from radio call-in shows. My analysis considers the different interactional trajectories that follow the production of (possible) racial stereotypes, demonstrating how participants treat their “inaccuracy” as a central basis for the production of challenges and moral sanctioning in response to their deployment. In addition, the analysis demonstrates some cases in which apparent stereotypes are accepted or aligned with, including those grounded in personal experiences, “self-stereotypes,” and humorous uses of stereotypes. I conclude by considering the implications of attending to the social–moral contexts in which stereotypes are produced, and the participant-administered accountability associated with these contexts.

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