Racism Psychology

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Racism Psychology

Racism refers to unscientific concepts, which are based on expanding physical and psychological disparity between human races as well as focusing on the decisive influence of racial characteristics on the history of society and eternal division of people into ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ races. Today, it is believed that educated people have a broad view of the world and tolerance, are aware of the need of equal rights to all people regardless of race, color or religious beliefs. However, it is not true.

Racial discrimination in the United States has long history. In fact, it has existed from the time the country was founded. The society that was established by white people has always had negative attitude towards people with different skin color, in particular Indians and the blacks.

Racial segregation in the United States has officially existed since the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Historically, the white population of the United States had power and controlled natural resources. The dominant group of white people sought to preserve status quo as they did not want to change the routine. However, representatives of African-American population wanted to improve their situation, and thus their actions were a threat to the dominant group. Therefore, in this situation, racism is an integral element of social policy.

There is no difference between discriminatory patterns of behavior in different countries. Thus, if the research is conducted in China, Iran or the United Kingdom, there would be no significant differences in the outcomes. Due to color revolutions in a number of African and Arab countries as well as the military intervention in Libya, Iraq, and Syria, the flow of illegal immigrants to Europe from African and Middle East ountries has significantly increased. Most of these people try to migrate to the United Kingdom. However, racial intolerance in Britain can be best displayed by the increasing xenophobia against Muslims and Africans. Iran’s nationalists are people who do not like Jews and Muslims. Racial unity of Chinese people entails a sense of racial superiority. Ethnic and biological homogeneity of the Chinese nation brought chauvinism to their national character traits, especially in relation to people with dark skin.

According to scientists, the basis of racism is a realistic group conflict theory. Central place in this theory is taken by the position on the conflict of interest, which is the major cause of conflict and contributes to the perception of the threat that can be posed by a foreign group. The threat causes hostility of the group members to its source, strengthens its cohesion, and toughens penalties for people with behavioral problems.

Gee, Ro, Shariff-Marco, and Chae (2009) provided a research that proved a relation between racial discrimination and illness among diverse racial populations. In the study, the authors reviewed evidences on racial discrimination among Asian Americans. The researchers studied 62 empirical articles that assess connection between health and discrimination. The research focuses on mental health issues that are followed by behavioral and physical problems. As a result of studying discrimination literature, understanding of discrimination and its influence on people’s health was deepened. The researcher found that discrimination itself could be the basic risk factor for mental disease.

Harrall, Hall, and Taliaferro (2003) collected data in controlled clinical settings and laboratories to explore the influence of conflicts with discrimination and racism on physiologicall activity. The researchers found that investigated surveys and laboratory studies imply that cultural orientation and personality’s variables modify the effect of racial discrimination. The study provides evidence that supports the notion that direct collisions with discriminatory incidents promote negative health outcomes.  

The driving force of racism lies not in intellectual but in political plane. Its arguments are drawn not in science but ideology. The motive of racist activity lies in the legitimation of domination as well as moral and theoretical justification of the status quo that emerged in the course of colonization. In the context of the global capitalist system, at the state level, racism emerges as a mechanism of distribution the social hierarchy of employment and wages by ethnic grounds. Racism ideas can mature in the bosom of the structure of the national psychology and can reflect national feelings and moods.

A person with developed personality, who is able to trust oneself and the world, is able to take responsibility for his/her life and understand that everything depends not on the nation but on the individual. If one lacks personal development, he/she feels (usually unconsciously) that it is impossible to do something alone. As a result, he/she would always need a group and feel involved in some community. A person is not ready to take responsibility for his/her life. Consequently, he/she seeks an external enemy who could be blamed for troubles of the community and an individual. The association in a group of people against any foreign enemy gives illusion of unity, support of community, and security. The aforementioned researchers give confidence that discriminatory behavior can be found in all countries. Racism is an indicator of immaturity of the society as a whole as well as its separate individuals.

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