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Patterns of Intergroup Relations
Discrimination is the denial of equal treatment to
individuals based on their group membership.
Prejudice is an unsupported generalization about
a category of people (Attitudes)
Can occur on an individual or societal level
Legal Discrimination is upheld by law. Often
used to distinguish between the rights of one
group from another (ex. Separate but equal)
Institutionalized discrimination is an outgrowth
of the structure on society
◦ Unequal access can push minority groups into lesspowerful positions in society
◦ Inequality can become a cycle that is difficult to break
Stereotype is an oversimplified, exaggerated, or
unfavorable generalization about a group of
people ex. All Irish have bad-tempers
Self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that
results in behavior that makes the prediction
come true
Racism the belief that one’s own race or ethnic
groups is naturally superior to other races or
ethnic groups
Sociological Explanations
◦ Social norms and socialization passes on prejudice due
to interaction with certain groups or society
Psychological Explanations
◦ Certain personality types are more likely to be
◦ Product of frustration and anger (scapegoating placing
blame for one’s troubles on an innocent group or
Economic Explanations
◦ Competition for scarce resources (jobs, etc.)
Cultural Pluralism is a policy allows each group
within society to keep its unique cultural identity
Assimilation is the blending of culturally distinct
groups into a single group with a common
culture and identity
Legal Protection such as Civil Rights Act and
Affirmative Action
Segregation is a policy that physically separates
a minority group from the dominant group (ex.
Subjugation is control over a group through
force, the most extreme version of this is slavery
Population transfer is the movement of a
minority group out of a specific area or territory
(ex. Resettlement of Native Americans)
Extermination is the elimination of a minority
◦ Genocide is the destruction- in whole or part- of a
racial, ethnic, or religious group
◦ Ethnic cleansing is removing a particular group from a
particular area through terror, expulsion, or mass
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