Prejudice, Social, And Social Psychology Essay

Prejudice, Social, And Social Psychology Essay

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For many years, the study of prejudice has been the central focus of social psychology (Augoustinos et al 2014). There is a strong understanding that social relations are more often than not marked by conflict as a result of social groups maintaining conflicting interests and a desire to change the out groups beliefs, inevitably leading to conflict between the two (Batalha 2008). Whilst it is important to study prejudice as it is a persistent social problem, often which every individual will associate with (Augoustinos et al 2014) it is ultimately impossible to expect social psychologists to explain every prejudicial encounter, such as the event of The Holocaust (Augoustinos et al 2014). Nevertheless, social psychology has attempted to examine prejudice, and does this through a number of perspectives which include, but are not limited to, social categorisation, social identity, social cognition and discursive approaches (Augoustinos et al 2014). Throughout this essay these constructs will be critically discussed in relation to racial prejudice.
Prejudice is a phenomenon that needs to be treated as a group process, but at the same time social psychologists need to study prejudice at an individual level (Brown 2011). Thus, some social psychologists suggest that prejudice is a result of the individual 's social cognition, more specifically individuals with an Authoritian personality. In essence, social cognition theories claim that racial prejudice occurs as an automatic response, irrespective of the individual 's conscious beliefs (Lowery et al 2001; Augoustinos et al 2014). Researchers of this theory state that the Authoritarian personality is a result of child rearing and through the means which they have been socialised by the...


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...group, or individuals who are associated with that group (Brown 2011). In spite of this research, it is still unclear whether prejudice does or does not create a social problem (Brown 2011). Similarly, it is still not clear whether these approaches are viable, but on some level, it is evident they work in explaining prejudicial behaviour (Park and Judd 2005). It is now important to focus on ways to reduce hostility and aggressive prejudice beliefs from occurring and thus in order to devise solutions, it is important to understand how strong the influence of in-group identification can be on the individual 's behavior (Brewer 1996). In saying that, evidence remains confident that intergroup bias and prejudice is an unavoidable repercussion of organising every individual within a social group (Park and Judd 2005) thus claiming that change would be an impossible task.

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