Guest editorial

Published date10 October 2016
Date10 October 2016
AuthorRobert J. Cramer,Phyllis Gerstenfeld
Subject MatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology,Aggression, conflict & peace,Sociology,Gender studies,Gender violence,Political sociology, policy & social change,Social conflicts,War/peace
Robert J. Cramer and Phyllis Gerstenfeld
RobertJ. Cramer is based at the
Old Dominion University,
Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
Phyllis Gerstenfeld is a
Professor at the Department
of Criminal Justice, California
State University, Turlock,
California, USA.
Introduction to the special issue on hate, prejudice and discrimination
Welcome to issue 8.4 of the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research. This issue
presents a special initiative addressing hate, prejudice, and discrimination in unique contexts.
Articles in this issue reflect a combination of empirical and theoretical work. These articles
address a range of timely topics, including, but not limited to, factors influencing perceptions of
immigration, demographically based biases in legal decisions, and multi-level framing of
aggression and conflict in international settings. Two clear themes emerged to offer new
theoretically informed insights into hate, prejudice, and discrimination.
First, a series of articles examines the roles of defendant minority identity and fact-finder
demographics in courtroom dynamics and legal decision making. Salerno and colleagues
explore the intersection of religious and sexual minority identities. Among their interesting findings
is a pattern in which Christian-identifying fact finders perceive gay defendants more negatively, a
pattern of discrimination the authors ground in existing theories of prejudice (e.g. the Black
Sheep Effect). In line with the topic of same-sex discrimination, Carlucci and Golom test
perceptions of female same-sex relationships in the context of sexual harassment. Participants
rendered biased patterns of legal judgments against lesbian females, with this pattern worse
among male fact finders. Girvan and colleagues provide a novel methodological approach to
evaluate sexual, racial, and ethnic disparities in decisions concerning civil damage awards,
reporting demographically discriminative patterns suggestive of the influence of both economic
and psychological manifestations of prejudice in jury decisions.
Second, and consistent with the journals broad scope of aggression and conflict, several papers
provide novel insight into international violence and bias. Addressing one of the worst
manifestations of prejudice and hate, Gasana gives a theoretical framework for understanding
genocide in the context of Rwandan Tutsi murders. Tuntivivat employs qualitative methods to
articulate a multi-level understanding of factors influencing violence in the education system in
southern Thailand. Notably, the author highlights a triadic range of influences of violence at play:
direct (e.g. murder), cultural (e.g. social norms), and structural (e.g. poverty). Erhart provides a
timely cross-cultural examination of attitudes toward immigration in 29 countries. Among the
findings, the author reports that political conservatism is a particularly salient factor predicting
anti-immigrant prejudice in western democracies. Adding to empirical knowledge concerning
beliefs about immigration, Wood and Miller identify key individual differences associated with
attitudes toward immigration in two samples. Among their novel contributions to this literature,
the authors note that higher attributional complexity and higher need for cognition were
both associated with pro-immigration beliefs, suggesting prejudice may be mitigated by
social-cognitive individual differences.
The current issue of the Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research offers a wide range
of inter-disciplinary perspe ctives on hate, prejudice, and di scrimination using differing
methodological approaches. We hope this series of articles helps spur conversation and
further study of these issues.
DOI 10.1108/JACPR-07-2016-0237 VOL. 8 NO. 4 2016, p.225, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited, ISSN 1759-6599
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