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prejudice.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA01H3
Professor
Mortenser
Semester
Winter

Description
Issues in Youth Conformity  in 2006, the alleged terrorist plot of the “Toronto 18” was discovered—18 people had allegedly been recruited Al Qaeda to commit acts of terrorism in Canada  there were plots to blow up prominent buildings and to create a large Al Qaeda cell in Toronto, with the aim to create disorder that would scare Canadians into withdrawing troops from Afghanistan  the group consisted of mostly young males under the age of 25  research shows young men are more likely to join a terrorist group  a link between serotonin (chemical messenger in the brain associated with feelings of well being) and social status is one key to why young men are likely to join a terrorist group  studies in Rhesus shows that when the monkey’s social status decreases, so does the serotonin levels in the brain  this suggests that our need to have status within a group, and thus belong to a group is biological  developmental psychology professor points out that the brains of teenage males aren’t fully developed, especially the prefrontal cortex that controls decision making and planning ahead  boys are still socialized according to old values of being brave, strong, macho  pressure to join a group and conform to its philosophy can sometimes lead young people to make decisions they would otherwise contemplate Nonconformity  there are always people who don’t conform to the group/obey authority  sense of morality can allow individuals not to conform  Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of “Moral Development” states some people will not conform because of their moral beliefs  Kohlberg’s theory is loosely based on Piaget’s stages, but move beyond them in scope (in early childhood, morality is related to avoiding punishment/gaining rewards; in the sixth/final stage, individuals no longer base their morality on what is socially acceptable, but on what is moral in principle)  people in the last stage of Kohlberg’s theory are not likely to conform to a group that is doing something wrong, because they are guided
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