The Princeton Trilogy revisited: How have racial stereotypes changed in South Africa

Kirsten Talbot, Kevin Durrheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate how the content of racial stereotypes has changed in response to the profound social and political transformation in South Africa. Following the theorizing in previous work, we expected stereotypes to have changed in response to changing intergroup relations. We replicated a classic stereotype study with a matched sample, and extended the research to include an analysis of stereotype uniformity and contrasts between personal and cultural stereotypes. The results showed that a new language of group difference had emerged, but that many of the representations and trends observed in that study have persisted. The favourability comparisons over time do not suggest that racial stereotypes are fading in South Africa. We found mixed support for the hypothesis that cultural stereotypes will remain relatively stable over time while personal stereotypes may undergo revision. In sum, the research shows that the racial stereotypes have a remarkable inertia, even in the face of dramatic historical change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-491
Number of pages16
JournalSouth African Journal of Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural stereotypes
  • Personal stereotypes
  • Race
  • Stereotype change
  • Stereotype content
  • Stereotype favourability
  • Stereotype uniformity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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