Compare the key ideas of one sociological theory and one psychological theory on prejudice and discrimination.
The social identity theory is a theory in psychology stating that people form prejudices out of a need to belong to a social group. These prejudices become deeper the more they are reinforced. The structural functionalist theory in sociology suggests that prejudice remains unchallenged because minority groups assimilate to the norms and behaviors of the majority group in order to avoid social unrest, thus cementing the prejudices or feelings of superiority in the majority group itself.
The distinction between most sociological and psychological theories lies in where the theory places responsibility for the belief or behavior being studied. Psychology tends to focus more on the individual, including brain structure, personal experience, and personality. Sociology, on the other hand, takes a much broader perspective, analyzing the ways social systems like race, economics, gender, and more influence behavior. This is true of most psychological and sociological theories of prejudice and discrimination.
One leading theory of prejudice and discrimination in psychology is social identity theory. This theory was initially articulated by Henri Tajfel in 1979. Tajfel believed that striving for acceptance among one's social group is an evolutionary behavior that has helped promote human survival. For one's social identity to be clear and well-defined, it is necessary for some people to be part of a social identity group while others are not. Those who belong to a given identity...
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