• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Scapegoats in Society

Extracts from this document...


Question 1 The key idea under consideration is that societies under stress sometimes use 'outsider' groups as scapegoats. The concept of the scapegoat has its origins in the religion and culture of the Hebrew people. They celebrate a festival called Yom Kippur (the day of Atonement). Yom Kippur is a day of confession, confession, repentance and prayers for forgiveness of sins committed during the year against the laws and covenant of God. The Festival is centred upon a ritual in which all of the sins that all of the Hebrew people have gained are symbolically put onto a sacrificial goat. The goat is then banished into the wilderness, therefore leaving the people free of guilt and are then able to start fresh. The modern concept of the scapegoat is someone who takes the blame for others, which originated in the mentioned festival. "In different countries at different times groups of people have been identified, stereotyped and then scapegoated by people who have economic, political and social power." ...read more.


Although, as I researched deeper I found that Anti-Semitism has a much older history: "It was in the Christian Europe that Anti-Semitism became a deeply rooted prejudice. In medieval Europe the Jews were officially and popularly regarded as being guilty of Christ's death on the cross in the 1st century Roman Palestine..." (Adapted from Cohn, Norman: warrant for Genocide, London 1967). Cohn goes onto say that the 'murder of God' was an "explosive accusation" which carried onto the 20th century resulting in many deaths of innocent Jews. The sources of evidence booklet, source five, reinforces this view: The implication here is that the Jews were wholly to blame for Germany's economic problem. This has led to poverty and unemployment both of which are common causes of scapegoating. The Jews were also blamed for Germany's defeat in World War 1 and at that prejudice and discrimination became more noticeable. This intensified during the economic depression, which followed. Whenever scapegoats are created, a culture of blame, resentment and often-crude stereotypes are found beneath the thin covering of excuses used to justify the persecution which follows: "Accusations against Jews included ...read more.


This lead to mass conflict: "Many whites, who already looked down on the blacks as 'inferior', now feared them as rivals." (Scott J. The World Since 1913, London, 1982). This, whites competing with black is also shown in the source of evidence pamphlet. Source 11 is adapted from a National Front leaflet and states that "British jobs for British workers!" This tells me that the National Front thinks that they British people should be first in line for employment. The National Front leaflet also describes Britain as a "dumping ground" for the surplus population of the West Indies, Asia and Africa. What is evident from my research is that scapegoating can occur for many reasons such as, cultural differences, religious fanaticism, socio-economic envy and resentment. The struggle to create a free, democratic, fair, and rational society is still the main political and social issue of human life. Those targeted as outsider groups take the blame for others. Even though some societies are multicultural, scapegoating and it's horrific consequences seems to be a problem that is unlikely to be eradicated in the future. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Prejudice and Discrimination section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Prejudice and Discrimination essays

  1. Medicine in the medieval period - The Black Death

    * Mother of the family - The mother of the family was the first person to treat the sick in the family. * Wise woman - In every village and town there were wise women and local people trusted because of their deep knowledge of herbs and other treatments which had often been passed down through generations.

  2. Racism is a term that is often used to describe a variety of social, ...

    Although the concept of racism has manifested itself throughout recorded history, what it means to society and its members has changed as perceptions have been altered (Winant, 1998). Case in point is the United States, which began to undergo a significant social transformation during the 1950s and 1960s when civil

  1. Racism in Britain in the twentieth century.

    This violence was caused by Racism, so perhaps it can be called racism even though it is only about what people think is racist or not. Racism accelerated dramatically after the 1st World War. It then had another boost during the 2ND World War when the Nazi's killed millions of Jews because of their Anti-Semitic views.

  2. Why is racism such a common problem to society in the 21st century?

    People like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi proved this. Both these people were revolutionaries and they both fought for racial rights, but despite all there fighting they never resorted to violence. Martin Luther King was one of the principal leaders of the American rights movement.

  1. Multicultural Britain

    There are many positive cultural influences that have taken place on the British society as a result of Afro-Caribbean's. Examples of this are: music, sport, T.V, dress and language. Music and entertainment is one of the major impacts that Afro-Caribbean's have brought into Britain.

  2. To Pray or Not to Pray…That is the Question upon Society.

    It has been thought that in our day and time, society needs to have a godly figure to look to for hope when the world around them is being destroyed. Some argue that allowing God back into public schools would allow children to have this hope.

  1. Anti-discrimination legislation.

    In 1965, the same year as the white paper, the Labour government passed the first Race Relations Act, which articulated the principle of ending discrimination against black immigrants, and their descendants, on the grounds of race. Although fairly limited in its scope the Act was important in establishing the concern

  2. Outline the Persecution The Jew's Suffered During The Shoah.

    Everybody that was German took part in the extermination. The Jews were normally made to undress before they were shot. Gold was removed from their teeth and their hair was cut off. However in the second year of this Hitler became worried about the psychological affect of this on his troops and so he moved on to gas vans.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work