enon as a set of often unconscious beliefs and associations that affect the attitudes and behaviors of members of the ingroup (e.g., non-Hispanic whites) toward members of the outgroup (e.g., blacks or other disadvantaged racial groups). Members of the ingroup face an internal conflict, resulting from the disconnect between the societal rejection of racist behaviors and the societal persistence of racist attitudes (Dovidio and Gaertner, 1986; Katz and Hass, 1988; McConahay, 1986). People’s intentions may be good, but their racially biased cognitive categories and associations may persist. The result is a modern, subtle form of prejudice that goes underground so as not to conflict with antiracist norms while it continues to shape people’s cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses. Subtle forms of racism are indirect, automatic, ambiguous, and ambivalent. We discuss each of these manifestations of subtle prejudice in turn (Fiske, 1998, 2002) and then examine their implications for discriminatory behavior.
Indirect prejudice leads ingroup members to blame the outgroup—the disadvantaged racial group—for their disadvantage (Hewstone et al., 2002; Pettigrew, 1998a). The blame takes a Catch-22 form: The outgroup members should try harder and not be lazy, but at the same time they should not impose themselves where they are not wanted. Such attitudes on the part of ingroup members are a manifestation of indirect prejudice. Differences between the ingroup and outgroup (linguistic, cultural, religious, sexual) are often exaggerated, so that outgroup members are portrayed as outsiders worthy of avoidance and exclusion. Indirect prejudice can also lead to support for policies that disadvantage nonwhites.
Subtle prejudice can also be unconscious and automatic, as ingroup members unconsciously categorize outgroup members on the basis of race, gender, and age (Fiske, 1998). People’s millisecond reactions to outgroups can include primitive fear and anxiety responses in the brain (Hart et al., 2000; Phelps et al., 2000), negative stereotypic associations (Fazio and Olson, 2003), and discriminatory behavioral impulses (Bargh and Chartrand, 1999). People have been shown to respond to even subliminal exposure to outgroups in these automatic, uncontrollable ways (Dovidio et al., 1997; Greenwald and Banaji, 1995; Greenwald et al., 1998; Kawakami et al., 1998; for a review, see Fazio and Olson, 2003; for a demonstration of this effect, see https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/ [accessed December 5, 2003]). However, the social context in which people encounter an outgroup member can shape such instantaneous responses. Outgroup members who are familiar, subordinate, or unique do not elicit the same reactions as those who are unfamiliar, dominant, or undifferentiated (Devine, 2001; Fiske, 2002). Nevertheless, people’s default automatic reactions to outgroup members represent unconscious prejudice that may be expressed nonverbally or lead to racial avoidance, which, in turn, may create a hostile, discrimina-