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Discuss two ways in which prejudice can be reduced. You should draw on psychological theory and research.

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Introduction

Sophie Fielding Discuss two ways in which prejudice can be reduced. You should draw on psychological theory and research Two ways in which prejudice can be reduced are Equal status contact and the pursuit of common goals. Deutsch and Collins (1951) carried out an early study of equal status contact. They compared two kinds of housing projects, one of which was thoroughly integrated with blacks and whites who were assigned houses regardless of their race, and the other was segregated. The residents of both housing projects were intensively interviewed and it was found that both casual and neighbourly contact were greater in the integrated housing with less prejudice among whites towards blacks. It appeared to be environmental support, which was sustaining prejudice in the segregated housing. This shows us that when people of different racial groups or in fact any kind of group are put together in a situation where they can not do much about it grow to be less prejudice and get along more easily than those who are away from mixed groups of people. ...read more.

Middle

In this technique children were put in small, mixed race learning groups, each member of each group were given material, which represented one piece of the lesson to be learned. Each individual child had to learn its part and then teach it to the rest of the group. At the end of the lesson each child was to be tested on the whole lesson and what they had learnt from the other children and were given an individual score. Therefore, each child had to learn the full lesson but were dependant on the others in the group for the parts of the lesson that could only be learned from them. This caused complete mutual independence. Aronson et al (1978) believed that the jigsaw method enhanced the students self esteem, and improved academic performance, increasing a liking for classmates and also improving some mixed race perceptions between the classmates. However, even though the classmates who worked together liked each other better as individuals, their reduced prejudice did not generalise to those ethnic groups as a whole. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that this also occurs within a group. If you belong to a certain social group of people and there is another group who are different for example 'charvas' and 'Goths' there is usually hostility between the two groups, because they dress differently and enjoy different things, this does not mean that the people in either group are 'out casts' or any different to those in the other groups yet we see this hostility everyday. However, if these groups were made to work together in a situation that they had no control over I think the line 'drawn' between them would disappear and they would begin to like each other and get along. However, as discussed in a number of studies namely the one by Aronson et al (1978) who worked with the jigsaw classroom technique it has proven that changes in prejudice arising from the work situation may not generalise to other situations and until prejudice is reduced in society for example through education which will employ these techniques people will be more likely to stay aggressive and not really understand why. ...read more.

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