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CAS SO 207 (15)
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Notes on Pages 24-40.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
CAS SO 207
Professor
Ruha Benjamin
Semester
Spring

Description
01/26/13 Race and Ethnicity Reading Pg 24-40 PAGES 24-40 Key Concepts in Dominant-Minority Relations (4 concepts) • Distinguish between individual analysis and group analysis (psychological vs. sociological) and trace connection • Thought vs. action relationships o Individual level: prejudice vs. discrimination o Group level: ideological racism vs. institutional discrimination INDIVIDUAL Prejudice (1) • Definition: the tendency of an individual to think about other groups in negative ways, to attach negative emotions to those groups, and to prejudge individuals on the basis of their group memberships. o Individual prejudice is composed of (1) thinking and (2) feeling. o Prejudice people think of groups in terms of stereotypes (cognitive prejudice) —generalizations that are thought to apply to group members o Affective prejudice—feeling negative emotions towards a group o We can say someone is prejudiced to the extent that they use stereotypes in his or her thinking OR has negative emotional reactions to other groups • Causes of Prejudice o Psychological and Cultural causes of prejudice are both plausible o This book will focus on theories that stress sociological/cultural causes • Competitions between groups and the origins of prejudice o Single most important origin of prejudice is competition between groups; used to justify the privileged status of winning group o Prejudice is result of competition rather than cause; stereotypes emerge about the enemy groups—prejudice emerges from heat of the contest but can remain for years after o 1950s experiment: Robber’s Cave (Muzafer Sherif)  Divided campers into two groups (rattlers vs. eagles) and competed, expressed negative feelings (prejudice) against other group  Sherif attempted to reduce harsh feelings and bring together groups, but they just expressed their enmity  Sherif created activates in which the two groups had to work together, this decreased tension—proved that competition causes prejudice (not the other way around) • Culture, socialization, and the persistence of prejudice o Prejudice usually outlives conditions of its creation o Swedish economist Gunnar Myrdal suggests prejudice perpetuates through time via the vicious cycle of prejudice, a self-fulfilling prophecy  Ex: slavery; stayed intact partly to motivate stratification system and partly to justify its past existence AND individual prejudices are reinforced by observation of inferior status of minority group (this creates cycle) o Prejudice is passed down to us through socialization (good and bad groups) • The development of prejudice in children o Children realize differences and stereotypes at a very early age (before 3 years old) and learn the proper attitudes and stereotypes to give each group o Parents may not be obvious about socializing racist tendencies but children pick up on it and conform for social acceptance by parent o Making distinctions by race or gender is normal and helpful for children, but attaching the negative stereotypes is socialized and can be controlled o Thus, changing levels of prejudice in children (0-6 months) may reflect an interaction between children’s changing mental capacities and their environment rather than a simple or straightforward learning of racist cultural beliefs or values  Doyle andAboud (1995) found prejudice was highest in kindergarteners and decreased by third grade. • Social distance scales o Social distance is the degree of intimacy that a person is willing to accept in his or her relatio
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