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Lecture 17

2D06 Lecture 17 "Social Attiudes".docx

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McMaster University
Sarah Clancy

Fox 1 Lecture 17 (Lecture 16: Movie) SOCIAOL 2D06 Wednesday March 5th, 2014  Social Attitudes  What are attitudes & social attitudes? • Attitudes are “evaluations” of people, places, things, behaviors, ideas, etc. o Interested in how “…social forces affect individuals attitudes…how these attitudes in turn relate to behavior” • Attitudes are: o Constructed o Influenced by social location, standing, etc.,., o Affect interaction or relations with others • Created based on meanings, construction and/or definitional processes, rooted in interaction with other social actors o Our attitudes can be both positive and negative  SI: Constructed nature of attitudes: • Dimensions of attitudes: o OpinionHow we “think”: opinion polls such as how we think about social issues, etc. o Direction+ or – o Strength Overall response o Non-Attitude-> Disregard  SI: Relationships Between attitudes & behaviors • Some argue that it is difficult to measure and capture the relationship between attitudes and behaviors o Have statistical methods, but the relationship is not always strong and clear-cut • What is the ideal setting, according to Rohall et al (247) to measure this relationship? o Clear and specific operationalization of variables being measured o People need to be informed about an issue in order to respond (not providing opinion but informed/knowledge-based response) Fox 2 Lecture 17  SI: Measurment Theories: • Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen et al, 1991) • Looks at attitudes, our thinking about behaviors, the intended effect of the action and the resulting behavior • Example: Billy does not like the idea of a pipeline being built in his neighbourhood (attitude) and plans to stage a protest (intention) but the actual ability to create change/stop the building is unknown (behavior)  SI: Prejudice • Prejudice are a form of social attitudes but directed at particular groups (p. 247) • Prejudice can take many forms: o Racism o Sexism o Classism-often interacts all other “isms” o Religious-based prejudice o Ageism o Sexual orientation • Why does prejudice exist? o According to the theory of group position, prejudice is “…a group phenomenon rather than an individual attributer because it defines a group characteristic” (Blumer, Rohamm p. 253) o Operating principles: o Superiority o Inferiority o Entitlement • While Blumer (1958) referred to the group position theory in reference to racism, we can see how these theory operates on all levels of prejudice • Racism can appear on micro and macro areas, in every day interaction and in institutional policies • Racism is measured by social distance or “…how close we feel to other people”  SI: Prejudice – Racism: • Social Distance Scale by Borgardus in the 1920’s about ethnic and racial relationships and distance Fox 3 Lecture 17 • General findings of more recent uses of the model: o Tolerance overall: greater tolerance (less racist attitudes because more tolerant of opinions) o Differential levels by geography of an area o Tolerance by gender: women greater than men  SI: Racist prejudicial attitudes as a product of culture: • Our history and our interpretations of history are often ethnocentric • We have many examples that show prejudicial attitudes, past and present (just a few examples): o Aboriginals o Japanese internment camps o Holocaust o Witch trials  SI: Sexism: • “Glass-ceiling effect” • Sexism is both institutional (macro) and micro level • Is furthered by lack of opportunities and resources but can also lead to further access to opportunities and resources • Present in language, actions, behaviors, policies, and interactions  SI: Classism – A Case Study: • According to Pietrantonio (2013), classism plays a role in access to mental health services o Investigated the social class background of providers and how their “… classist attitudes impact their beliefs and treatment of clients from different economic backgrounds” • Findings: o Lower income clients =lowest scores overall regardl
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