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Discrimination and predjudice - psychological and sociological views

sarahmk 22 / 55  
Aug 20, 2008   #1
This essay talks about discrimination and predjudice based on the views of psychological and sociological views. I also had to compare the two in my three argument.

Robert F. Kennedy once stated, "But suppose God is black? What if we go to Heaven and we, all our lives, have treated the Negro as an inferior, and God is there, and we look up and He is not white? What then is our response? Racism is defined as being "the belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others". Racism is a form of discrimination. It's the intolerance of another being solely based on the color of their skin. Discrimination suggests the "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit". One can be discriminated against due to their race, sexuality, religion or gender.

Throughout the history of mankind there has continuously been a division against individuals because of their differences. In the 1800's Europeans started to enslaved Africans for economic and racial purposes. In the 1940's Adolf Hitler proposed the idea of genocide where he was given the power to murder over six million Jewish individuals in Germany.

EF_Team5 - / 1,586  
Aug 20, 2008   #2
It is the intolerance of another being solely based on the color of their skin.

One can be discriminated against due to their race, sexuality, religion, or gender.

... to murder over six million Jewish individuals in Germany. Lawrence King was targeted by a classmate and murdered simply because he was a homosexual. All these occurrences are linked to humanity prejudices and bias. The question is, w here does this hatred and ignorance derive from? Psychological presumptions clearly establish three main theories: Authoritarian Personality Theory, Group Norms Theory of Prejudice and Child Development Theory.These do not need to be capitalized. Is it the influences of the media, families, peers, and government officials have over our minds to cause humankind to believe particular stereotypes? Sociological theoristsDoesn't need to be capitalized. beg to differ. Sociologists do not believe prejudices are the internal state of human beings. It is the factors outside of individuals that cause them to grow to be racially or sexually prejudiced . The functionalist theory, conflict theory, and the symbolic interaction theory all propose societie' s portrayals of discrimination pressure and manipulate individuals to deem their social class, sexual category, race, and sexuality superior over others.

Are psychological views opposed to sociological observations more accurate? Or does sociological examinations contain more truth? Its believed racism is not a feeling, but a mental state of mind. Individuals are not born racist, they are taught racism. Psychological examines the mentality of individuals regarding there reasoning for practicing discrimination, whereas sociologically, discrimination is perceived as ones l behaviors are affected by their development in a social environment.This statement doesn't make sense; please clarify.P rejudice is caused by psychological and sociological influence, where individuals are manipulated by their surroundings to hate another solemnly based on their disparity.

Psychology is a scientific study that examines the mental processes and behaviors of human beings. Arguably, discrimination and prejudice exist due to the mentality of individuals who are taught abhorrence. Growing up, children may imitate their parent' s or siblings' behaviors. Like the saying goes, "monkey see, monkey do." If one observes individuals in their life being racist they may ado pt that behavior. Psychologists have three main theories that amplify why bigotry and intolerance exist?(Why is this a question?) The Authoritarian Personality Theory, Group Norms, Theory of Prejudice and Child Development Theory.These do not need to be capitalized. Psychologist Theodor Adorno proposed that individuals in their early stages of childhood who are raised with overly strict rules that are dogmatic (Remove comma) and remotely cruel, will develop an "authoritarian personality type." Citation? This personality type causes one to become accustomed to high levels of intolerance, great insecurity, and being submissive to superiors. Adorno examined childhood occurrences of prejudiced and unprejudiced people. In his gatherings based on the studies of over 2000 people, he discovered children generate emotional aggression caused by having strict boundaries forbidding them to question authority. This leads to them taking out their anger on individuals who are ranked lowered in society (Bain and Colyer). Page?

Adornos' theory contains precision. Previously before the holocaust, Germany was going through a depression. This was when Hitler took control and voiced his ideas. Depressed and anxious for change, Germans followed his malevolent plan to brutally torture the Jewish people. At this point Germany was vulnerablebecause they were suffering from economic loss. So with that being said, they obeyed authority and followed Hitler's rules. By them agreeing to his murderous arrangements, they adapted his hate (Remove comma) and saw Jewish people as the enemy. Psychologists who further examined Adornos' theory came to the conclusion that those who are older lack education, and who come from a lower social class are more likely to be authoritarian. This contains truth, since it relates to the Holocaust. Germans were financially unstable focusing them to see Hitler's ideas as a method for them to revitalize Germany.

Adornos also touches base on conventionality. Individuals who encompass this personality have "relatively high levels of conformity" (Bain and Colyer) (Page?). In hopes to be accepted they will alter their personal beliefs and opinions to feel a sense of appreciation, since in their childhood they were governed by excessively stern rules. This theory can be proven by Adolf Hitler's childhood. His father abused his mother, brother, and himself. This indecent transformed into aggression, causing him to change his personal beliefs into detestation. Through his hatred, he influenced a country to despise Jewish people (Remove comma) and to see them as a target. Individuals, as well as himself, conformed their personal beliefs to the events that surrounded them. This action can also be seen in Slavery(Why is this capitalized?) , where Caucasians(Why is this capitalized?) had no choice but to abide the laws and to recognize black people as the "enemy." Even if they were not born with hatred (Remove comma) they were forced to conform (Remove comma) since those who were Caucasian(Why is this capitalized?) were taught to be superior (Remove comma) over those who were black.

Adornos' theory proposes truth (Remove comma) but this personality type was not proven to exist. He may have questioned over 2000 individuals, however one may have great insecurity not because their upbringing (Remove comma) but simply because of physical abuse from a spouse or friend. An individual may have respect for authority (Remove comma) not because strict laws did govern them as a child (Remove comma) but because they were raised with decency. High levels of intolerance could be caused by a situation one encountered, such as if they were raped by a person of Asian, black, Hispanic, or Native descent. This could result in them containing a prejudice attitude towards individuals of that race. The traits that come along with the authoritarian personality are common for other diagnoses as well. Depression and anxiety are also mental disorders that are related to submissiveness, weakness, and low tolerance.

The Authoritarian Personality Theory(This does not need to be capitalized.) demonstrates great understanding regarding why individuals are raised with prejudices. However, it has not been yet proven, making it just a hypothesis as to why individuals have this mental state.

Gordon W. Allport, a psychologist at Harvard University in 1954, published The Nature of Prejudice.(Format? Also, was this man a Harvard psychologist in 1954 or did he publish this text in 1954? This will determine where the comma goes.) The novel demonstrates the significance of in-groups and out-groups. Allport believes around the age of five children begin to form into groups, where they develop strong allegiances. Within these groups children grow together being able to feel a sense of comfort (Remove comma) and self-discovery (Klopp, J). (Page?) In-groups are opposed to out-groups. In-groups contain particular attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that are threatened by the out-group who challenges the principles they carry out. This could lead to prejudice and discrimination. Research shows children recognize differences in skin color when they are infants. When children reach the age of eight, there is a chance they will have a slight preference for their own race. Between the ages of eight to twelve studies demonstrate children are most vulnerable, making it easier for them to develop particular prejudices. These prejudices result in groupings.

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race(Format?) , states, " At such an early age, kids are curious about the world and each other. Spotting differences between the races is not instinctive at a young age". Tatum discusses how one time a Caucasian(Why is this capitalized?) child asked her son if his skin was brown because he drank a lot of chocolate milk. She states that black children are more likely to encounter racial slurs and stereotypes, considering they are the minority. Black children later group together (Remove comma) where they are able to find their racial identity. Allport's theory does present realistic facts since at Walnuts High School, white-children(Why is this hyphenated?) usually sit at separate tables than the black students. The reasons for these are that White Students(Why is this capitalized?) (the in-groups) obtain common stereotypes of black students. Black students can be regarded as thugs, and uneducated, resulting in them feeling they have to prove themselves to the white students, proposing a challenge.

Research clearly establishes African American Teenagers(Why is this capitalized?) who feel a sense of alienation prefer to be friends with those they can relate to. This can also be seen with homosexuality. Brandon McInerney murdered Laurence King on February 12th 2008, due to King being gay and King's hitting on him. This act was considered "Anti-Gay(Why is this capitalized?) ." King could be recognized as an individual in the out-group, who challenged McInerney, who was in the in-group.

Allport's theory could be argued against simply because if multi-culturalism (Remove comma) and the instances of interracial marriages increasing. These two practices demonstrate that our society is slowly becoming "color blind." In an after school program in England, teenage girls of all nationalities and religions socialize with each other. Even though they question their differences they are united by what separates them. It's said that theEcho Boomers Generation(Why is this capitalized?) is one of the most diverse groups who are changing racial stereotypes and racial discrimination (K. Foot 29). This proves that Allport's theory may have accuracy(Remove comma) but slowly our world is coming together, which changes the theory of in-groups and out-groups.

The "Group Norms Theory of Prejudice," demonstrates an intellectual analysis to why discrimination exists. Allport observes the process of discrimination, which through numerous forms of research appears to be true. Even though his theory is rather correct, not all individuals engage in the in-groups out-groups concept. Our world is changing in terms of acceptance of different ethnic groups and homosexuality, which means individuals (Remove comma) will slowly become more accepting of one another.

Psychologist Frances Aboud and her co-researcher Ann Beth Doyle suggest a similar theory to Group Norms Theory of Prejudice.(Why is this capitalized?) The theory Child Develop Theory(Why is this capitalized?) focuses on the idea that children adapt prejudice characteristics around the age of five to eight. Its believed prejudice is connected to cognitive development. Cognitive development denotes "thinking, problem solving, concept understanding, information processing and overall intelligence". This links to the Child Develop Theoryto be capitalized.) due to particular stages in a child's life influences their behavior towards others. Socialization and the imitation of parents' attitudes are also two major facts. Around the age of five to eight children's behaviors are the easiest to mold (Remove comma) and control. This is because around the ages of five to eight children appear to be the most resistant to change (Klopp, J). (Page?)

Cognitive abilities (the theory of the mind) affect children's perceptions of discrimination. The way children are taught about race may affect their cognitive and behavioral development. Margaret O'Brien Caughy, an assistant professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, studied the perceptions (Remove comma) and reasoning for young children, especially black adolescents, in regards to discrimination. Her studies shown, "Depending on parents' values, racial socialization can emphasize achievement, morality, racial equality and self-esteem; the minority experience, including awareness of discrimination; or black culture". Studies show that around the age 5-8 children begin to question other childrens'differences . Aboud and Doyle conducted in 1996 where children who were in the third and forth grade were paired together to converse about race.(This sentence doesn't make sense; please complete it.) These children had different levels of tolerance in terms of prejudice. Aboud's research explained that children frequently maintain an emotional distance from children of other races. Racist children who are exposed to other children who do not practice discrimination can help them reduce their prejudice views. Even though Aboud's conducted numerous researches backing up her theory. Many would agree that the imitation of parents is more dominate than cognitive development in a child's life.

Mrs. Stern-LaRosa of the Anti-Defamation League believes, "When a mother squeezes the hand of her child a little tighter when an African-American man is spotted, that shows a child whom to fear". Even when a father laughs at a racial, homosexual, or a sexist joke, it allows children to believe they can treat those people ignorantly. Cognitive development is the growth of an individual's mentality. A child learns from their parents and teachers. Meaning cognitive development happens when children learn from those who surround them. This means the most prominent factor in prejudice characteristics, are not one' s cognitive development, but their parenting.

The Child Development Theory(This should not be capitalized.) demonstrates how children at a young age begin seeing color. Its easier for an adolescent to become familiar with black and white, gay and straight, since even the media now suggests what color is prettier, and what sexuality is more appreciated. Abound and Frances were correct; children are young when they first comprehend race, sexuality, and gender. However (Remove comma) their cognitive development is influenced mainly by their parenting, which results in them adapting these negative characteristics.

Sociology is "the study of human social behavior, especially the study of the origins, organization, institutions, and development of human society". Sociologists suppose prejudice stems from aspects outside of individuals. Does an individual adapt prejudice characteristics through their socialization with other people? Sociologists have three main explanations that clarify why prejudice and inequity subsist. The Functionalist Theory, Conflict Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory(These should not be capitalized.) all propose different ideas based on sociology, explain why individuals continue to obtain prejudice characteristics.

The functionalist theory is based on the views of a functionalist who believes (Remove comma)

"a society is like a living organism in which each part contributes to the survival of the whole. This perspective emphasizes how the parts of society are structured to maintain its stability. If an aspect of social life does not contribute to a society's stability or survival, it will not be passed from one generation to the next". Society is divided mainly into two groups, the majority and the minority. These classifications are thought to be natural instincts. Functionalists believe racial equality reduces the governing group of the duty to concentrate on the economic, educational, and other social conflicts faced by secondary groups. Discrimination forms a society that deprives minorities of their privileges and rights. A study by the Equal Opportunities Commission finds that Pakistani, Asians, and black women have a difficult time getting a job, and receiving a job promotion opposed to Caucasian(This should not be capitalized.) women. Arguably, this occurs simply to make minorities inferior to Caucasians(This should not be capitalized.) . Society continues to generate discrimination because the majority allows it to continue so they can be "privileged." Slavery can be a reason why intolerance is a "natural feeling." Its engraved in mankind to believe that one group of people will always be better. Since the beginning of time there were the rich and slaves. What determines ones position in society was there skin color. Mainly lighter skin individuals were affluent, which continues on today.

The functionalist theory contains facts proven by the unfairness of Caucasians(This should not be capitalized.) being superior over other racial groups. A functionalist believes racism is a part of the way society operates. Some may beg to differ. A functionalist is correct; society does require different levels of positions. However, those positions should not be given to an individual simply because of their race. If society needs different roles, why are all roles considered to be equal? Discrimination does not better a society, but worsens it. There will always be poor and rich, and black and white, but the word unprivileged should not be connected to the black race, where privileged is linked to Caucasians(This should not be capitalized.) .

The Functionalist Theory(This should not be capitalized.) . demonstrates the inequality in our societies. They believe a society is not balanced in terms of race, because it is natural for one group of people to be superior over others. Some may agree, since our world has always been exposed to competitive nature? Others may not see this as natural, but as ignorance. Stereotypes may be formed to cause other groups to be inferior, so they can have their own roles.

The Conflict Theory(This should not be capitalized.) . believes dominant groups who have social, political and economical power maintain their privileged position over subordinate groups. This practice is viewed as unfair. A conflict theorist believes each individual is an equal, despite his or her race, gender or employment. Dominant groups decide what standards should be concentrated on, which laws should be enforced, and what consequences should be imposed. Subordinate groups that consist of minorities and the poor are the ones who are targeted by these rules. Conflict theorists think capitalism is to be banned for the discrimination in our societies. Capitalism is "An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market".

Capitalism is said to cause ethnic groups to compete against each other. This results in the less fortunate individuals resulting in crime and violence, since they are unable to receive high-paying jobs, superior ethnic groups controlling society. Individuals who are unprivileged retaliate with violence in hope for society to come up with a solution that will benefit all groups, and not just one. This could be seen in the actions of ninety percent of African- Americans who are sentenced in court for crack cocaine violations. This could simply be an act of greed, or an act of being impoverished. Majority of this African Americans are sentence for long periods of time, which are laws formed from upper society. These laws do not help to rehabilitate these individuals, but to degenerate them.

By many African Americans going to jail, capitalism is able to continue to exist, benefiting higher-class society, and helping them to move forward, where African Americans continue to suffer.

The African American situation would be argued by conflict theorists as a method formed by privileged individuals who benefit from capitalism, wanting to keep them as inferior. Some may disagree, saying that when minorities and the poor act out violent actions it has nothing to do with discrimination, but just their lack of knowledge. There are many fortunate people of color. Therefore this may weaken a conflict theorists argument. In today's society anyone may have a fair chance at opportunity. Hilary Clinton a woman, and Barack Obama, a black male who were able to run for presidency, can see this. Barack Obama was able to become the president candidate for the democratic party. If society is governed by capitalism that generates hate, than why is a black man provided with the chance to rule America, one of the most dominate nations in the world?

The conflict theory explores one of the reasons why discrimination and prejudice exists. It could be truth that a society ruled by capitalists makes it harder for those of non-white descent to see. Most individuals that are prosperous are "English-speaking Canadians/Americans" of European descent. Caucasians obtain power making them superior. This may cause other races to feel a sense of inadequacy and poor standards.

Others may not blame capitalism for their feelings of inferiority, but lack of education, and work ethnics.

The symbolic interaction theory believes prejudice is caused by the stereotypes individuals use to label others. This is said to result in selective perception--- forced to see particular characteristics in certain people, while ignoring other features in others. A common stereotype would be the depictions of black people who are portrayed mainly as rappers and criminals. According to Robert M. Entman and Andrew Rojecki, authors of The Black Image in the White Mind,(format?) "In television and film Black characters are less likely to be "the intellectual drivers of its problem solving". Black people are not seen as being intelligent people. They are viewed solemny as "entertainers", not intellects. Anyone in society could be considered "black" if they are able to dance or rap. Just like anyone who is educated is seen as "white." This could also be related to Jewish People who are described as being "money oriented and greedy."

These stereotypes cause individuals to see particular ethnic groups only one sided. Females are also a victim to this problem. Individuals view females as being good for cooking, and cleaning, yet they question them on their working abilities. The Symbolic Interaction Theory(Remove comma)(This should not be capitalized.) sees these labels as a problem that results in discrimination. However, maybe black people are not viewed as being criminals, violent, and rappers. Maybe that is the way black people choose to see themselves. This may not be a form of prejudice. Statistics demonstrate minorites are the most prominent in criminal activity. Is their actions caused by societies stereotypes? Or is it because they want to execute out these actions? Maybe individuals are simply judged on whom they are and not the color of their skin.

Psychologically this issue appears to be examined by focusing on the events that cause individuals to discriminate. They believe prejudice and discrimination are a result of an internal state, opposed to socialogical perspectives that view it as the influene of factors outside of individuals. This begs the question: i s discrimination caused by one' s internal state of mind, being manipulated into discrimination, o r are human beings socially prejudice? Psychologists approach this issue by analyzing individuals mainly by parental guidance and their childhood develop. They focus on ones mental state regarding intolerance. Psychological theories propose discrimination exists due to one being mentally manipulated by witnessing others actions that surround them, causing them to feel they belong to a particular racial, or gender group. Sociologists believe individuals are socially born racist. It is a norm in society. Society has always had an upper class and a lower class.It is alleged that human beings have natural instincts to feel superior or inferior. One feels these ways when they witness the way society operates. Upper class society forms laws benefiting themselves, while lower class society suffers from their regulations. These results in conflict amongst these two groups.

Even though psychologists and socialists differ on many of their theories. Both groups share one similarity. The Symbolic Interaction Theory(This should not be capitalized.) suggests individuals are prejudice, simply due to the causes of selective perception. Ones perception is arguably there state of mind. Individuals see different characteristics in others, which stems from their mentality being influenced by their social surroundings. Stereotypes become engraved in ones mind, resulting in them seeing particular social groups as labels. Psychologically , selective perception can be caused by one' s development. The images that they see or labels they hear by the ones around them can cause them to think all people of one race obtain these characteristics. Sociologically , once a label is given to a group that is how the group with be socially accepted.

Both psychology and sociology views proposed interesting theories to why prejudice and discrimination exist. Intolerance has been occurring since the beginning of mankind. It could be seen the acts of slavery, holocausts, and the murder of Laurence King. This issue causes one to question why does this practice continue to generate? Is it a psychological problem or is a social problem? Psychologist's views suggest three main theories: Authoritarian Personality Theory, Group Norms Theory of Prejudice and Child Development Theory.(These should not be capitalized.) . Has prejudice caused my one feeling the need to belong, resulting in an internal state? Socialoigsts, believe it is the factors outside (society) of an individual that causes discrimination. Three theories are proposed to support their findings, t he functionalist theory, conflict theory, and the symbolic interaction theory.

From the psychological views the most accurate theory proposed was the Group Norms Theory of Prejudice.(This should not be capitalized.) . This theory focused on the adoption of group norms that are caused by in-groups who practice certain beliefs and attitudes that are challenged by out-groups. Within our society, research demonstrates children around the ages of five to eight immediately recognize difference and join groups where they are accepted. This results in division causing discrimination, since labels to certain groups are given. This relates to the most accurate theory suggested by sociologists the Symbolic Interaction Theory. Individuals(This should not be capitalized.) . are victimized by societies portrayals of certain genders, sexualities, and races. This is caused by selective perception. Human beings label others with particular characteristics that they don't see in someone else. With this practice comes segregation, since whites will be seen one way, opposed to blacks who will be seen another.

Unfairness originates from ones psychological and sociological influence, where individuals are manipulated by their surroundings to hate another solemnly based on their disparity. Individuals will always be judged by their color or sex. Society has formed standards for each being. Our world will continue to practice intolerance, since the ones who are privileged benefit from this unfairness, making them inconsiderate to those who do not . Human nature as always been attached to discrimination, and with discrimination comes a world of inequality, difference, and war."

Watch the inappropriate and excessive use of commas. Also pay attention to random capitalization and incomplete/incoherent sentences. Make sure all of your quotations are propertly cited and formatted, and watch the use of casual contractions as they should not be used in academic writing.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Dec 5, 2008   #3
Take out the word "being" in this opening sentence:

Racism is defined as, "the belief that...

The authoritarian personality theory provides great understanding regarding why individuals are raised with prejudices. However, it has not yet been proven, which means that it is still just a hypothesis as to why individuals have this mental state.

In today's society, anyone may have a fair chance at opportunity, and this is exemplified by Barack Obama who was elected the first black president of the United States of America.

Very good essay, and only a few errors... I hope it scores well!

brittanygarden - / 1  
Dec 11, 2008   #4

I need to do an essay pretty much exactly like this one.
Except it's regarding Canadians - the connection between prejudice and discrimination and violence in Canada. You have to include two social-science view points.
It's for ILC. Could you help me?

OP sarahmk 22 / 55  
Jan 12, 2009   #5
Im sorry, if u still need help, i would be more than happy to help you out. i havent been on this for awhile

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