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Alyssa Torres

Intro to Sociology

8 April 2018

Writing Assignment #3

Race refers to people who share certain inherited physical characteristics, such as skin

color, facial features, and stature. There are also multiple different types of racism to be

identified. Overt racism is the blatant mistreatment of an individual or specific group of people.

Symbolic racism refers to negative beliefs about a group. Institutionalized racism represents

laws, policies and practices than reproduces inequalities, which may be intentional or

unintentional. The scapegoat theory refers to frustrated people viewing others who are disliked

by society as the source of their problems. The holocaust has been suggested as an example of

the scapegoat theory. According to the theory, the Germans used the Jews as scapegoats for their

countries problems. They focused all of their anger on the Jews. This theory is attributed to racial

inequality by creating discrimination based on race towards Jewish people.

Another prejudice attitude is the authoritarian personality theory. This theory defines

people who were raised in a strict environment, emphasizing obedience to authority and rules

and have low tolerance for people who are different from them. These authoritarian personalities

rigidly conform to conventional cultural values and see moral issues as clear cut, right or wrong.

According to Theodor Adorno, the authoritarian personality type follows a few distinct elements.

The first element of authoritarian personality is blind allegiance to conventional beliefs regarding

right and wrong. Next, respect for submission to acknowledged authority is a characteristic of

this theory. A large element is the belief in aggression towards those who are different. An
example of the theory would be the murder of Vincent Chin, who was beaten to death simply

because he was mistaken to be Japanese.

The culture theory is another prejudice attitude. Some prejudice is found in everyone, as

prejudice is part of the culture in which we live and learn day in and day out. The Bogardus

studies proved this point by finding students across the country had similar opinions towards

specific racial and ethnic categories. Overall, the culture theory suggests that prejudice is rooted

in culture and learned from society. Based on my experiences and observations, I believe that

the cultural theory is most useful in describing racial tension throughout society today. For

example, children tend to copy one another pretty frequently. I would be lying if I suggested that

people form their own opinions as often as they should, rather than judging based on what the

rest of society thinks.

Based on the two quotes listed at the end of this week's presentation, the more promising

strategy for decreasing racial inequalities would belong to Barack Obama’s memorial service for

the fallen Dallas police officers. After all, we are all human and should treat each other as such.

We should attempt be open to the struggles, fears and hopes of our fellow citizens. I believe we

should not have to change laws in order for people to treat others with respect and dignity, that

should go without saying. I think the more laws we make in this instance would dehumanise us

even more and cause even more of a separation in which we do not need.