Monoracial perceivers’ sociopolitical motives and their inclusion versus exclusion of multiracial people

Arnold K. Ho*, Nour S. Kteily

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many societies today are organised as race-based social hierarchies, with clear boundaries between racial groups at the top versus bottom. The growth of multiracial populations has been heralded as holding the potential to blur existing group boundaries. But whether multiracial people do blur boundaries depends critically on how monoracial perceivers categorise them. We review our research programme on how monoracial perceivers’ categorisation of multiracials depends on sociopolitical motives. We present the Sociopolitical Motive × Intergroup Threat Model of Racial Categorisation, which describes how sociopolitical motives interact with specific threats to drive multiracial categorisation, and how this depends on perceivers’ group position in the racial status hierarchy. Our empirical work is based on the U.S. context, but we discuss how our research, grounded in theories of intergroup relations that have been tested cross-culturally–social dominance, system justification, authoritarianism, and social identity theories–may apply more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-44
Number of pages44
JournalEuropean Review of Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Race categorisation
  • hypodescent
  • intergroup relations
  • multiracial
  • race perception
  • racial hierarchy
  • sociopolitical motives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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