This essay's aim is to discuss the possibility of reducing prejudice and intergroup conflicts in the light of how social policies can help to achieve this goal. Since the second World War, social psychology went though major changes, and specifically effected by group influences. Before WWII psychology focused on ethnic and racial tensions, biological and cultural differences that made individuals react the way they did. After WWII the focus was on faulty, implicit generalisations that lead to racial hatred, violence and genocide. To allow us to study (intergroup) conflict we need to pay close attention to prejudice, social identity theory (SIT), and realistic conflict theory (RCT), as all these have the potential to highlight the conflict between groups that lead to individual motivation, emotions, and actions. Will draw on social psychological research/experiments like the Northern Island conflict, point out how well it informs social policies which promote reform and hopefully a positive change (Dixon, 2007). While earlier research looks at prejudice as an abnormal development, later with the development of SIT and RCT it was seen not as an irrational error and bias, and not senseless, but it maximising the material gains and/or identity of a group. The aim is to reduce conflict, decrease prejudice in our contemporary society with the help of contact hypothesis although it has positive and negative features as its principles in both; individual and social levels.
Cognitive social psychology and the later development of discursive psychology see categorisation and social identity of group relations in different ways, but they can also be interlinked. Combining aspects of cognitive and discursive theory can help us to make sense... [continues]
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