how might individuals and the united states work together to reduce prejudice and increase appreciation for diversity?
In criminology, psychology, and sociology, the contact hypothesis has been described as one of the best ways to improve relations among groups that are experiencing conflict. Gordon W. [ Allport (1954) is often credited with the development of the Contact Hypothesis, also known as Intergroup Contact Theory. The premise of Allport's theory states that under appropriate conditions
interpersonal contact is one of the most effective ways to reduce prejudice between majority and minority group members. If one has the opportunity to communicate with others, they are able to understand and appreciate different points of views involving their way of life. As a result of new appreciation and understanding, prejudice should diminish. Issues of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are commonly occurring issues between rival groups. Allport's proposal was that properly managed contact between the groups should reduce these problems and lead to better interactions.
In order for this to occur, these 4 criteria must be present:
Equal Status, both groups taken into an equal status relationship,
Common Goals, both groups work on a problem/task and share this as a common goal, sometimes called a superordinate goal,
Acquaintance Potential, the opportunity of group members to get to know each other as friends, and not merely as actors playing out social roles or as representatives of their social groups; the familiarity between group members involving the task or situation at hand
Support of authorities, law or customs, some authority that both groups acknowledge and define social norms that support the contact and interactions between the groups and members.
The reduction of prejudice through intergroup contact is best explained as the reconceptualization of group categories. Gordon Allport (1954) claims that prejudice is a direct result of generalizations and oversimplifications made about an entire group of people based on incomplete or mistaken information. ]
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