Shutterstock Racism is a prevailing issue in the modern day world.
The discussion and analysis of prejudice becomes complicated when we approach a specific topic like racism, though the tensions surrounding this phenomenon extend to other intolerances such as sexism or heterosexism. Complications include determining the influences that might lead to individual racism or an atmosphere of racism, but also include the very definition of what racism is: Is it an individual phenomenon, or does it refer to an intolerance that is supported by a dominant social structure?
At this writing, a major refugee problem exists from people fleeing Middle Eastern countries where a strong ISIS influence is leading to the killing of gays, Christians, and Muslims from rival belief systems.
In many European countries, hate groups and right-wing politicians are gaining ground. These statistics reveal some interesting things about intolerance.
Both the international events and the statistics relevant to any specific nation prompt difficult questions about intolerance. If someone commits a hate crime based on sexual orientation, why are gay men more often the target than lesbians? Would hate crimes in other countries reflect the same axes of difference, or might hate crimes be based differently?
German hate crimes might be based more on ethnicity e. Why do people commit such acts at all? One mistake we often make is thinking of prejudice and discrimination only in extreme terms such as genocide and hate crimes. Culture and Intolerance Re Defining Culture As we look to the cultural influence on intolerance, we must first consider the definition of culture.
The study of culture has deep roots in anthropological and linguistic research, especially as seen in the work of Franz Boaz and his students Margaret Mead, Ruth Benedict, and Edward Sapir, as well as in the early work of Edward Tyler, itself based on earlier traditions of ethology Darwin and social evolution Marx.
This work influenced the work of anthropologist E. Scholars have debated whether culture is a shared mental framework of beliefs, norms for behavior i. These are influenced and created through symbolic behavior, action, and other aspects of the environment history, geography.
The definitional dimensions of culture described by Kroeber and Kluckhohn explained well many of the definitions of culture up until the s. After that time, some scholars especially in communication began to treat culture more as a set of symbols and meanings.
Others framed culture as a process of constructing social meanings and systems through communication. As people sing, speak, play, tell jokes, and conduct business, they are constantly re creating their culture—both relying upon it and changing it.
With this diversity of definitions in mind, one is not sure what to think culture is or should be. Baldwin, Faulkner, Hecht, and Lindsley present a series of essays on the definition of culture by authors from six different disciplines e.
While they are reluctant to settle on a single definition of culture, this definition embraces most trends: It is in the creation and defending of cultures—from countries to local and virtual communities—that intolerance often becomes apparent. The Role of Culture in Prejudice Of various schools of thought about the nature and origins of intolerance, only one approach suggests that intolerance is biological or in some way inherited, and that is sociobiology, or evolutionary theory.
But even evolutionary theorists cannot explain all intolerance based on a theory of inherited impulse. Research on intolerance in 90 preindustrial societies suggests that, when there are clearly psychological causes for intergroup conflict, groups ultimately use communication to create who the enemy is and how one should demonstrate or show intolerance Ross, Oct 27, · AP poll: U.S.
majority have prejudice against blacks. "The last Democrat in the White House said we had to have a national discussion about race.
There's been total silence around issues of. In African-Americans are 21% more likely than whites to receive mandatory minimum sentences and 20% more likely to be sentenced to prison than white drug defendants.
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Prejudice this new prejudice finds expression in voting against blacks and candidates favorable to black programs. An investigator interviewed white South Africans to find reasons for their negative attitudes toward blacks.
He found that the typical white South African was convinced the great majority of. To take a recent example, in May fully 88% said there was a lot or some discrimination against blacks, with 46% seeing a lot of discrimination. A majority of whites (57%) also saw at least some discrimination against blacks, but just 16% said there was a lot of discrimination.
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In this unequal social system, there is often unfair treatment directed against certain individuals or social groups. This is referred to as discrimination. Discrimination can be based on many different characteristics—age, gender, weight, ethnicity, religion, or even politics.