discussion of socialization,
we introduced the concept of code switching, explaining how our relationships to others are so deeply internalized that we shift effortlessly back and forth between them. For example, we know that when we are talking to our supervisor we need a level of deference that is not necessary when we are talking to our friends. We may also reveal secrets to a significant other that we would never share with coworkers. Adding the dimension of social power, we can think about internalized dominance as the default mode for engaging with the minoritized group. Because we have internalized our position in relation to theirs, we automatically interact with them from a position of unconscious superiority. We are seldom aware of this, because the messages of superiority have been planted and reinforced since birth. Further, because we have been taught that it is wrong to treat others differently, we would
likely deny our sense of superiority. Yet research shows that dominant-group interactions with minoritized
groups are based in a sense of internalized superiority and are different from interactions with other dominant group members (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Myers, 2003; Picca & Feagin, 2007). Again and again, studies have shown that actual behavior toward minoritized groups does not line up with dominant group beliefs about these interactions—recall the resume study described in Chapter 3 (Dovidio, Glick, & Rudman, 2005; Greenwald & Krieger, 2006). Our lack of awareness or denial of our behavior does not lessen the reality of its impact. In fact, our unawareness and denial makes it more likely that we will continue.