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project2 - Parental Approval 1 Ashley White Eng 101 Sec 055...

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Parental Approval 1 Ashley White Eng 101- Sec 055 October 17, 2007 Project 2 Parental Approval and it’s Relation to In-Groups ABSTRACT While considering group behavior or in my case, a family’s behavior, in terms of individuality, it is essential to bear in mind that the individuals within in-groups influence each other. My narrative case study is an experience that any being can relate to and is a legitimate example of Allport’s theory. Gordon Allport proposes that people are made up of in-groups and reference groups. Within these groups every person his or her own individuality but there are many similarities that he or she share within their group. My narrative case study displays the theory of in-groups, prejudice, and “range of tolerable behavior” of this well known theory of group behavior. In my case study, I dream of going to an art school and becoming a fashion designer. My mother disagrees but after visiting an open house hosted by the College of Textiles at N.C. State, she approves of my decision and I compromise with her by choosing N.C. State as my college preference. After evaluating this case study, I have found that further research could be done to show how this case study could continue to support this theory or refute it. INTRODUCTION OF THEORY Allport’s (1954) theory claims that “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, caste, and occupational status” (p. 172). He also states that some members of an in-group have fought for their membership, but many memberships are bestowed by birth and family tradition,
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Parental Approval 2 in other words some memberships are achieved status and others are ascribed status (Allport, 1954). In addition to Allport’s (1954) theory of in-groups, he observes the group-norm theory of prejudice, in which he claims that “all in-groups and reference groups have a way of life that includes characteristic codes and beliefs, standards and “enemies” to suit their own adaptive needs” (p. 180). The theory states that members of the group are kept in line by being pressured and that every member must adopt the group’s preferences and way of life (Allport, 1954). Furthermore, Allport (1954) argues that the members of the various groups may not share all of the same preferences that the group shares and this is what makes those members individuals (p. 181). Besides the theory of prejudice, there is another part of the theory that Allport discusses which is called a “range of tolerable behavior”. The “range of tolerable behavior” states that members that belong to any group have a certain conformity that deals with their personal beliefs (Allport, 1954). This “range of tolerable behavior” leads to that fact that each member within the various groups has their own uniqueness. Some members may be avid, passive conformists, or nonconformists. The theory also states that the in-groups influence the members to conform to the groups’ needs and habits (Allport, 1954).
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