Critically Examine Psychological Explanations for Racism

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Critically examine psychological explanations for racism
Racism is a, persistent, destructive, invasive problem is our society today. Psychologist have taken this complex social issue and for years have brought forward many different perspectives, to understand, theorise within psychology to grasp the possible reasoning behind why this act takes place within society even today. Within this essay I will be attempting to critically examine a range of psychological explanations for racism.
According to the oxford dictionary definition Racism is ‘The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races: theories of racism. Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior: a programme to combat racism’ [Oxford Dictionary: Online]
Social scientist have viewed and taken racism to be a factor that has arisen from our surrounding; built from the people and world around us, whereas clinical psychologist tend to focus on psychological issues assumed to be the primary cause of racial behaviour. Minard (1952) investigated how social norms promote discrimination and racism within individuals, [Gross.R 2014]. The Black and White miner’s behaviour was observed above and below ground, within southern USA. He found below ground 80 of white miners were friendly towards the black minors. Above ground they found that the social norm was to be prejudice so the above figure was dropped to 20. This suggests on how the white minors were conforming to the social norm around them, whether that was above or below. Similarly the famous study of Zimbardo (1973), ‘Standford Prison Experiment’, enlightened on how within a short amount of time, when given roles of guards…...

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