The psychosocial effects of Native American mascots: a comprehensive review of empirical research findings

Laurel R. Davis-Delano*, Joseph P. Gone, Stephanie A. Fryberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Approximately 2,000 teams in the U.S. utilize Native American mascots, the majority of which are associated with schools. Across the nation there continue to be many intense conflicts over these mascots. Most conflicts focus on differences in opinion, rather than on the effects of these mascots. The purpose of this article is to provide educational decision-makers with a comprehensive review of research on the psychosocial effects of Native American mascots. This body of research suggests that these mascots generate undesirable effects. First, they are psychologically detrimental to Native American students. Second, for non-Native persons, they are associated with negative stereotypes of Native Americans. Third, these mascots undermine intergroup relations by increasing negative stereotyping of Native Americans. Lastly, supporters of these mascots are more apt to believe prejudicial ideas. We discuss these findings relative to broader societal contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)613-633
Number of pages21
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2020

Keywords

  • American Indians
  • athletics
  • discrimination
  • equal education
  • mascots
  • stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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