The Contact Theory of Racial Integration: The Case of Sport

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 Skidmore College
  • | 2 University of Wyoming
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The contact theory of racial integration is examined in this survey of the behaviors and attitudes of secondary school students and student-athletes. Self-report questionnaires were completed by 1,082 subjects in the urban upstate New York area. Subjects were evaluated on two behavioral (race of students talked to, race of students phoned) and three attitudinal (like more friends of other races, choose interracial school, or races smarter than others) dependent variables. Dependent measures were evaluated relative to their correlations with a number of independent variables (athlete/nonathlete, individual or cooperative sport played, sport experience, won-lost record, exposure to minorities, sex, social status). Results of the study argue for consideration of the contact theory’s applicability to the sport situation.

Direct all correspondence to Donald Chu, Dept. of Physical Education and Dance, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
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