`This is a comprehensive text that is extremely well written by top social psychologists, with all of the major theoretical perspectives represented. The editors should be commended for putting together this lively and engaging text' - Nyla Branscombe Department of Psychology, University of Kansas A range of international events have recently focused attention on issues of prejudice, racism and social conflict: increasing tensions in former Eastern bloc countries, political conflict in Northern Ireland and the United States, as well as racial conflict in the Baltic States, Middle East, Africa, and Australasia. In light of these events, Understanding Prejudice, Racism and Social Conflict presents a timely and important update to the literature, and will a fascinating textbook for all students who need to study the subject.
Chapter 11: Distortion V. Meaning: Categorization on Trial for Inciting Intergroup Hatred
Distortion V. Meaning: Categorization on Trial for Inciting Intergroup Hatred
Every field of intellectual endeavour has its canon, its hardcore reading list of contributions that just about everyone in the area would define as seminal, whether they agree with their message or not. The canon of the social psychology of prejudice would, without doubt, include Tajfel's Cognitive Aspects of Prejudice (1969), widely cited as a watershed, a defining moment from which the field has never looked back.
That paper did two crucial and related things. Firstly, it went on the offensive against the ‘blood and guts’ (as Tajfel put it) irrational individualism of previous analyses of prejudice, arguing that prejudice reflected intergroup antagonism arising from ...