Windsor Village : A Southern test of the contact hypothesis



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This study investigates the predictive accuracy of Allport's contact hypoyhesis. Specifically, the hypothesis' adequacy is assessed in predicting prejudice reduction among integrated Whites living in a southern single-family dwelling suburb. Windsor Village, a working-to-middle class suburb of Houston, was particularly suitable for the research because it had been harmoniously integrated by Blacks for eight years at the time 106 Whites were surveyed. A majority reported that through biracial interaction, they were less prejudiced. In further confirmation of the contact hypothesis, all the proposed conditions for prejudice reduction were found indispensable. Whites, reporting prejudice reduction, had generalized these positive attitudes to Blacks and integration in general. In contrast, the relatively biased respondent, not reporting increased tolerance, perceived the Blacks as too exceptional to warrant general attitude improvement. Because the unbiased though neighboring Blacks were typical, he had unrealistic expectations of integration and Blacks which frustrated generalized positive attitudes.