In 2010, Claude Steele published his first book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, as part of the Issues of Our Time series of books exploring timely issues from the voices of modern intellectuals. Whistling Vivaldi focuses on the phenomenon of stereotype threat as it explains the trend of minority underperformance in higher education. In his book, Steele discusses how identity contingencies, or those cues in an environment that signal particular stereotypes attached to an aspect of one’s identity, can have a drastic negative effect on a person’s functioning, and how these effects can explain racial and gender performance gaps in academic performance. Steele also offers a host of strategies for reducing stereotype threat and enhancing minority student performance, as well as the hope that the societal knowledge of stereotype threat will lead to an understanding and acceptance of diverse group differences.
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