In_Groups - Dashow 1 Sarah Dashow ENG 101 006 Ms Lavia...

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Dashow 1 Sarah Dashow ENG 101 - 006 Ms. Lavia Experience Based Theory Critique 24 September, 2007 The Formation of In-Groups As human beings grow and mature, we will naturally seek out companionship, acceptance and love. In a world with an ever-changing and ever-growing populous, the formation of close- knit groups in order to feed this human desire is just as important as food and shelter in maintaining a stable lifestyle. According to Gordon Allport, a founding father of the field of Social-Psychology and Head of Harvard’s University of Psychology, this draw to the familiar and the groups created from it is known as the formation of in-groups. Using various observations and exceptions, Allport elaborates on various theories proposed, such as the Sherifs’s Group Norm Theory of Prejudice, and disagrees, reflecting on his ideas of how in- groups function. Looking at the various points he brings up and putting his ideas into my own experiences, I believe that most the points made in his argument are valid; however, I choose to believe what the other theorists say also. Before looking in-depth at in-groups, one must understand exactly what an in-group is. Simply put, an “in-group” is a group that can be brought together with the term “we”, and when comparing cultures, “there is one law – universal in all human societies – that assists us in making an important prediction. In every society on earth the child is regarded as a member of his parents’ groups . He belongs to the same race, stock, family tradition, religion, chaste and occupational status” (Allport, 1954, p.172). Adding onto this, the child is also expected to share his parents’ loyalties and prejudices; however, as a child grows older, matures and is allowed to see the world from their own perspective, these loyalties and prejudices can change (Allport,
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Dashow 2 1954, p.172-173). Looking at my own life, I noticed that this pattern shows true for both me and a majority of my friends. When I was younger, I did not know much better than what my parents had told me and taught me about good and bad and who I should and should not avoid, such as being careful around strangers and avoiding the kids at school who were rude and impolite. As I grew older and more independent, I was able to make more decisions for myself. One time I remember this showing was when I was around ten or eleven years-old, my parents and I were on a cruise to the Panama Canal, and I went running back to our suite to get a pair of binoculars. When my parents asked me why, I told them it was because I had met some woman at the front
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This essay was uploaded on 03/20/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Cornett during the Fall '08 term at N.C. State.

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In_Groups - Dashow 1 Sarah Dashow ENG 101 006 Ms Lavia...

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