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Critical Thinking about Racism

Racial issues continue to plague us. After every new incident (the deadly neo-Nazi march and confrontations with protestors in Charlottesville this past August a blatant example), we rehash all the arguments for how best to combat racism and racial division. In his introduction to our special section in this issue, Deputy Editor Benjamin Radford notes, “One thing that is missing from the debate is evidenced-based guidance on what psychology and sociology can teach us about what’s effective in reducing racism and prejudice.” Psychologists Craig A. Foster (with Steven M. Samuels), Stuart Vyse, and Terence Hines attempt to rectify that situation. They contribute short essays describing what research shows are the most effective—and least effective— ways to deal with racism. The research offers no guarantees but does give some hope that personal engagement and other innovative approaches can, sometimes, change some people’s minds.

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