About this Research Topic
Understanding the factors that create and maintain social inequalities is a core question in social psychology. Research has so far mainly focused on the role of individual stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. However, there is growing evidence that, beyond the “biased” acts of prejudiced individuals, structural factors related to the very functioning of institutions and organizations can play a role in the reproduction of social inequalities. Indeed, people are immersed in a world that tend to be structured in a way that reflects the perspective of, is organized by, and benefit the dominant groups. In this Research Topic, we propose to bring together researchers who study how institutional ideologies and practices promote norms, rules and opportunities that favor dominant groups and disadvantage dominated groups. This question can be tackled by work investigating how institutional practices (e.g., grading, tracking, recruitment, …) and ideologies (e.g., meritocracy, individualism, protestant work ethic, …) shape the psychological experience of (dis)advantaged people. Moreover, another interesting venue is represented by work investigating how the institutional practices and ideologies are enacted by the agents (e.g., teachers, recruiters, leaders, …). Taking the perspective of agents allows to investigate how institutional functioning constrains the actual opportunities they provide to (dis)advantaged individuals. This could also highlight how institutional ideologies and practices are incorporated by agents, thus revealing mechanisms of change vs. perpetuation of the institutional functioning.
This Frontiers research topic aims to gather the latest research investigating how institutional ideologies and practices contribute to social inequalities. Theoretical and empirical contributions from psychology, sociology and related fields are welcome. We hope to provide an overview that includes various forms of inequalities (e.g., racial/ethnic, gender, social class, sexual orientation) to illustrate the pervasiveness of these effects but also in the hope to highlight how different aspects of institutional functioning shape the specific experience of social group. We encourage contributions investigating how dominated groups are disadvantaged and how dominant groups are privileged.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.