This ad first started making the rounds on my Facebook feed during Super Bowl XXXVIII a few years ago. Stick with it all the way to the end for the payoff:
For those non-football fans out there, it’s an ad from the National Congress of American Indians protesting the team name Washington Redskins. It seems to me that while not exactly the same idea, it’s relevant to our PSY 13 discussion about the influence of images and labels on our schemas about groups (in the Social Cognition, Part II lecture I talked about efforts to change the icon on handicapped parking signs).
Indeed, research indicates that seeing Native American logos and mascots makes attitudes about the group more negative, among Native Americans as well as others. Here’s a quote from that story, one that should sound pretty similar to issues we’ve been discussing from Chapter 3: “…there is a disconnect between how people think about these issues consciously and unconsciously. So you can have very positive views about a team mascot like the Redskins, and genuinely and sincerely say you are supportive of the team and think about the mascot in a positive way. While, at an unconscious level, the mascot could be having negative effects on you and the people who are hearing you talk about those terms.”
Thoughts on the Native American mascot issue from a social psychological perspective? Other examples you can think of relevant to these issues of how images and labels change the way we think about certain people or groups?