VIEWS: 40 PAGES: 14 POSTED ON: 4/12/2012
Mass Death Episodes How can we explain these atrocities? How can we avoid them in the future? Examples • All Wars – Civil War – 558,000 – WWI – 8.5 million soldiers – WWII – approximately 11 million soldiers – Hiroshama – 100,000: Nagasaki – 50,000 • Holocaust – 6 million • Soviet Purges – 8 million • WTC Tragedy – approximately 2823 Causes of Prejudice • Are we biologically wired to hate those who are not like us? – Possible, but even if so, the specifics of prejudice must be learned • Four causes have been researched extensively: – Economic and political competition, displaced aggression, personality needs, conformity to existing social norms Economic and Political Competition • Prejudice increases during economic difficulties – In the west in the late 1800’s attitudes toward the Chinese varied greatly depending upon the amount of employment opportunities. After Civil War the Chinese were hated due to competition for jobs • Research shows that the most anti-black prejudice is found in groups that are one rung higher on the SES ladder – This variable is confounded w/ educational level Economic and Political Competition • All of this data is correlational and descriptive, what about experimental data? • Muzafer Sherif – Boy Scout Research – Created competition between the Eagles and the Rattlers and conflict over scarce resources – Even after competition ended animosity remained and even continued to escalate Misplaced Aggression • More commonly known as Scapegoating – Blaming a relatively powerless innocent person for something that is not his or her fault – Similar to Freud’s concept of displacement – Term is based on ancient Hebrew practice • Long history – Holocaust, southern Blacks – Between 1882-1930 the number of lynchings in the south in any give year could be predicted by the price of cotton Scapegoating • Laboratory experiments reveal that we scapegoat the following: – Groups that are generally disliked – Groups that are visible – Groups that are relatively powerless The Prejudiced Personality • Are there individual differences in the tendency to hate? – Adorno and his research on the Authoritarian Personality suggests yes • Authoritarian Personality has these characteristics – Adherence to conventional values (e.g., government, church, parents, middle-class) – Contempt toward outgroups – Superstition Authoritarian Personality • Further characteristics: – Resistance to change – Belief in censorship and strict laws (people need to be controlled) – Intolerant of weakness – Highly punitive – Extremely respectful of authority • Appears to stem from harsh and threatening parental discipline Prejudice through Conformity • Pettigrew suggests that discrimination arrives predominately from social conformity • Prejudiced individuals, particularly Southerners, who enter the army tend to become less prejudiced – More non-prejudicial norms to follow • Laws and customs may provide the notion that one group is inferior to another – Segregation laws Possible Solution? • Interdependence – Sherif finally reduced the conflict between his groups of boy scouts by leading them into a cooperative task where everyone was important – Currently, are all countries viewed as equally important – even when working on cooperative tasks? – Consider the design of the United Nations How do we grieve? • Memorials • Benefit concerts • Moments of silence • Rebirth of patriotism (jingoism?) • Increases in religiosity? How are our lives changed? • Flying – Increased fears – More difficult due to security concerns – Racial Profiling? • Intergroup relations • Increased awareness of international affairs? • Heightened sense of mortality?
"Prejudice Stereotypes and Discrimination (PowerPoint)"