Symbolic Racism

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Jim Sidanius started working towards his theory professionally when he was tenured position as the associate professor of psychology at the university of UCLA where he worked with the most influential researchers in the psychology discipline. First, David Sears worked together with Sidanius when he asked him to present the symbolic racism thesis. Symbolic racism is the combination of anti-black affect and traditional American values such as self-reliance as the ultimate source of white oppression to redistributive social policy favouring blacks (Sidanius & Pratto,1994). This was the most influential and primitive contribution towards the development of SDT. Furthermore, Sidanius altered this idea and defined symbolic racism as one among several…show more content…
In 1942 as he worked at the Lewin research lab he got influenced by his work because he worked under Lewin’s supervision. In contrast to Sidanius, Festinger was not yet a professional when he developed these ideas but Sidanius was already experienced since he was even a professor at the time that his social dominance theory started taking off. Moreover, the informal social communication thesis was also influential in his formulation of the social comparison theory because of the elegance of the formulation in its use of this concept as an intervening variable between various determinants such as group coherence and amount of disagreements and leadership. In addition to this Festinger then derived the pressure towards uniformity in the comparison process and what was new is that it was that people compare their abilities and opinions to those of others. The lab experiment that involved rats where Festinger, worked with Douglas Lawrence was to support the cognitive dissonance theory that was originally formulated by Festinger. It was found in the experiment that the strength of a learned habit can be increased by relatively low rewards, by infrequent rewards, and delaying rewards (Festinger, 1957). The cognitive dissonance theory formally needed to understand how moral values are strengthened and selective exposure to information this seek to understand the generalized explanation in terms of…show more content…
This theory is initially related to the Marxism because it addresses the issue of the dominant and the subordinate groups. In the original theory by Marx the is the proletariat which is dominated by the bourgeoisie. This theory states that every society has a hierarchy whereby different groups enjoy varying degrees of status (Sidanius,1999). The ideas need to achieve answers as to why certain groups of people need to dominate minor groups (Sidanius&Pratto,1999). The question came as a result of the experiences that Sidanius came across his life experiences such as racial epithets. The theory came alive after Sidanius met David Sears where he was able to construct the idea of social dominance and defined symbolic racism as one among several legitimizing ideologies serving the purpose of justifying the continued domination of blacks by whites and generally using legitimizing ideologies to maintain supremacy over a subordinate group (Sidanius, 1996). This was the origin of the legitimizing myth concept. The social dominance theory was further enhanced by the ideas that Sidanius adapted from Brewer and he used them to formulate the ideas of hierarchy-enhancing and hierarchy-attenuating social forces. Furthermore, the idea of SDO (social dominance orientation) SDO is thus the central individual- difference variable that predicts a person's acceptance or rejection of numerous ideologies and policies relevant to relations

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