lec031010 - Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology...

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Introduction to Sociology Professor Deborah Carr Monday March 10, 2010 I. How Does Racism and Intergroup Conflict Arise? A. Socialization theories 1. Racism is learned. The main explanations given are through socialization, typically through parents or media. Parents’ attitudes toward persons of different races and ethnic groups are a very powerful predictor of children’s own attitudes. Again, the socialization process may be subtle or intentional - it can be as direct as parents uttering racist beliefs, or something as subtle as a mother clutching her purse when members of a different ethnic group walk past her on the street. Whether a child learns by observation or by rewards for reiterating his/her parents beliefs, the beliefs to tend to get transmitted from parent to child. Importantly, influences like the media or peer group may either reinforce or reverse these beliefs. B. Realistic group conflict 1. This theory says that prejudice is the outcome of direct competition over valued, but limited resources. 2. Experimental data: - Sherif camp study is perhaps the most famous social psychological study of intergroup conflict. In the summer of 1954, 22 11-year old boys arrived by bus at a campsite in Robbers Cave, OK. They were told they were going to participate in a three-week summer camp, although the camp setting was actually a field experiment conducted by Sherif and colleagues. The boys were from middle-class, white backgrounds and were screened beforehand to ensure that they were of average or above intelligent, and they did not have personality disorders. At the beginning of camp, the boys were arbitrarily assigned to two groups. The two groups arrived at camp on separate buses, and were assigned to separate cabins. The experimenters made sure to keep the members of the two groups apart from one another. To strengthen the in-group allegiances, the boys were made to perform cooperative tasks, and were given team names (the Rattlers and the Eagles). In the second week of camp, the experimenters introduced the two groups to one another, but did so under the condition of intergroup competition, primarily in the form of competitive sports. The hostilities that developed, however, expanded far beyond the playing field. The groups destroyed each others’ property, called each other names, and engaged in physical fights. In the meantime, cohesion within the groups increased, with both groups offering to forego fun activities if it involved interactions between the feuding groups. 3. Scapegoating theories: Scapegoat theory says that vulnerable people view even lower status persons as the source of their problems, and often perceive that the other group is in direct competition with them for scarce resources (e.g., students who get rejected from college, and ‘blame’ students of color and affirmative action programs). i. Example: Vince Chin murder
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This note was uploaded on 11/20/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:101 taught by Professor Carr during the Spring '10 term at Rutgers.

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lec031010 - Sociology 101 Introduction to Sociology...

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