The Situationist

Racial Prejudice in Real Estate Markets

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 26, 2010

Here is another segment from John Quinones excellent ABC 20/20 series titled “What Would You Do?” — a series that, in essence, conducts situationist experiments through hidden-camera scenarios. This episode asks, “what would you do if you attended a real estate open house where only certain people were welcome?” (and includes analysis from social psychologist John Dovidio).

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It has been over 50 years since the Black, middle-class Myers family moved into all-White Levittown.  You can watch the landmark (32-minute) documentary depicting reactions to the Myers moving into Levittown below.

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Finally, here is a 1991 ABC Primetime story on the “nature of today’s prejudices.” The documentary follows “two men (equal in all measurable aspects, except skin color) as they participate in a variety of ‘everyday’ life interactions and situations to test levels of prejudice based on skin colors. Shows how two young men in St. Louis, one white, one black, but otherwise similar in background, appearance, etc., are treated differently in various situations as they go about shopping, applying for work, and looking for rental housing.

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To review a sample of related Situationist posts, see “Jane Elliot’s Situationist Pedagogy,” Leaving the Past,”Why Race May Influence Us Even When We “Know” It Doesn’t,” Black History is Now,”Jennifer Eberhardt’s “Policing Racial Bias” - Video,” Inequality and the Unequal Situation of Mental and Physical Health,” The Toll of Discrimination on Black Women,” The Physical Pains of Discrimination,” The Depressing Effects of Racial Discrimination,” The Cognitive Costs of Interracial Interactions,” The Situation of Prejudice: Us vs. Them? or Them Is Us?” and “The Racialized Situation of Vandalism and Crime,” each of which contains a sizable list of other related Situationist posts.

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