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Explanations for racism, discrimination & prejudice Sociological, psychological and historical explanations.

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Presentation on theme: "Explanations for racism, discrimination & prejudice Sociological, psychological and historical explanations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Explanations for racism, discrimination & prejudice Sociological, psychological and historical explanations

2 Xenophobia Foreigners, immigrants and ethnic minority representatives are seen as a threat. A question of fear for the unknown According to Julia Kristeva (a psychoanalyst) this originates in a fear for the unknown within ourselves, in other words a fear for our own subconscious. According to Agnes Heller (a phenomenological sociologist) xenophobia originates in a threat towards unquestioned everyday routines and practices, that build up the identity of an individual. The foreign questions these routines by following different routines, normes and practices. Social psychologists (Critical Theory: Theodore Adorno) have presented a theory about the authoritarian personalty, which has difficulties in managing uncertainty and tends consequently to simplify.

3 Socioeconomic and cultural threat A fear that ”the other” will take ”our” jobs, appartments and change ”our” culture In Finland and in other Nordic countries the socioeconomic threat has been exeperienced most among loweducated workers (Jaakkola) A ”rational” attitude in questions of resource competition Closure, i.e. monopolisation of specific positions to particular groups, is a common feature (Weber)

4 Relative deprivation Comparative position of individual is unsatisfactory (Samuel Stouffer: The Americal Soldier) Difference between what is wished and what is realized Unsecure economic situation and the lowering of status (Hernes & Knudsen: Svart på vitt) Used to be middle class problem, now working class problem.

5 Propaganda and media influence Yellow press, garbage journalism Populistic political parties Propaganda not opposed by opinionleaders Silent majority

6 Modernity: Anxiety thesis & Aggression Social bonds are weakened as a consequence of the individualisation of the modern society. Isolation is the result and this causes anxiety and unsecurity. Individuals search for new identification within the national society, which is defined negatively in relation to the foreign that ”belong elsewhere”. New bonds between the individual and the nation are created through racism which identifies ”the other” as a threat. Extreme right offer political programs and organisations that create new identification and certainty. Nationalism becomes a new ”civic religion” Parsons: Aggressivity thesis – The modern society is compartmentalised (division of labour between men and women) and masculine roles do not permit expressivity and feelings -> aggressivity which is directed towards the other

7 Cyclical thesis These ideologies become stronger during economic recession, followed by unemployment and where the position of the middle classes is threatened An ideology among other ideologies: Racism is always present and may become over active in particular situations (Miles)

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