Intergroup Conflict

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Intergroup Conflict|
What is it and how do we fix it?|
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Victoria Hull|
1/5/2013|

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Intergroup conflict is when members of a group have hostility towards one another. This can be seen in the cases of juvenile delinquents within a detention center who are also members of active gangs. They all have one thing in common – they are part of a group (the detention center) and are part of smaller groups (their individual gangs). These differences cause the intergroup conflicts.

There are several concepts which contribute to the formation of intergroup conflicts: stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. According to the text stereotype is, “a generalized belief about members of a group.” Prejudice is defined as “a generalized attitude towards members of a social group.” Discrimination is, “behavior directed toward people on the basis of their group memberships.” These concepts all play important roles in intergroup conflicts. (Kenrick, Neuberg, and Cialdini)

Stereotypes are thoughts about what we perceive people as. For instance many people possess the stereotype that people of the Jewish religion are cheap. This could also pertain to how gang members perceive each other to be. Although many gangs are violent they have different ways of looking at each other. Some gangs don’t like each other because they have many different stereotypes of each other. Stereotypes are usually ingrained in small children and typically last a life time. Stereotypes come in many different forms. For example, one gang may look at another gang and have the stereotype that they are all drug dealers when in fact they may not be. (Kenrick, Neuberg, and Cialdini)

Prejudice can be how we feel about a particular group mostly based on our initial interaction with the group. Many gang members are brainwashed to believe in their gang. Early interactions within a person’s gang may cause a person to become prejudice of other gang members simply because they do not...
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