Prejudice and Politics Lecture Notes

Prejudice and Politics Lecture Notes - From Evernote: Notes...

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Unformatted text preview: From Evernote: Notes on prejudice in politics One of the major goals of this work is to bring interests back in to the discussion of the nature of prejudice, and in particular to the discussion of how prejudice impacts politics. So much of the literature and of common sense understanding of this issue focus on prejudice based primarily on affect, traced to social learning and rooted in ignorance. This is the traditional prejudice model as outlined by Gordon Allport. This model would predict that people would oppose treaty rights for Native Americans due to their general prejudice against them as reflected in a variety of stereotypes that they hold (Indians are lazy, dependent on government, etc.). Another way of thinking about opposition to treaty rights is that it is somehow rooted in the actual loss experienced by non-Indians as a result of court decisions which allow Indians to conduct spearfishing off their reservation and outside the normal times in which the state allows non-Indians to fish. These decisions allotted 50% of the total catch to Indians, severely cutting back the allowable bag limit for non-Indian fisherman. This realistic loss of a privilege may provoke severe opposition to the treaty rights of Indians in this case. A third broad theory regarding how racial politics play out is that when public policies that benefit one racial group over another, opposition is likely to be rooted in the sense that these policies violate the sense of equity and fairness doctrines which are at the core of American ideals of individualism and liberty. When one particular group is seen as particularly likely to violate these American ideals, and this feeling motivates opposition to a racialized public policy, this is seen as a form of Symbolic Racism. Symbolic Racism is the notion, rooted in social learning, prejudice, and stereotypes, that a minority group inherently violates notions of fairness and equality, that they are not self-sufficient and rely too much on government assistance, etc. It is a new form of racism, not rooted in stark biological inferiority, but in a greater likelihood to be welfare dependent and violate other norms of self-reliance and individualism. In orthodox prejudice models, negative racial attitudes are rooted in learned negative feelings and beliefs. These feelings are socialized in us and increase likelihood of discriminatory behavior. Symbolic Racism is a more recent form of the orthodox prejudice model. Anti black feeling is based in socialization and learning but is also tied to the learning of other American values such as individualism. People are taught to think of blacks as violating these American principles of individualism due to their receipt of welfare and other public assistance. It is still orthodox because it is based in social learning. When any new political issue surfaces that involves Indians, whites will social learning....
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This note was uploaded on 03/27/2012 for the course SOC 183 taught by Professor Sethhannah during the Fall '11 term at Harvard.

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Prejudice and Politics Lecture Notes - From Evernote: Notes...

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