Herbert Blumer's Race Prejudice As A Sense Of Group Position

2002 Words9 Pages
Herbert Blumer looked at conflict theory through an emphasis on group position and how that generates conflict. Marilynn Brewer takes a different approach with conflict theory and focuses on the need to fit in but also the seemingly conflicting need to separate oneself from others as an instigator of conflict between groups. Both of these theories have something to say about the historical conflict between the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the blacklisted, Communist screenwriters in Hollywood. This paper aims to show which of the previously mentioned theories is most adequate for analyzing the historical conflict in Hollywood. In Blumer’s article, “Race Prejudice as a Sense of Group Position,” he is looking specifically at how group position leads to racial prejudice, but this theory holds up when applied to other types of prejudice as well. In looking at conflict between groups, Blumer sees it as a conflict based in social positioning (1958). Blumer identifies “four basic types of feeling” present in the dominant group: “a feeling of superiority, a feeling that the subordinate race is intrinsically different and alien, a feeling of proprietary claim to certain areas of privilege and advantage, and a fear and suspicion that the subordinate race harbors…show more content…
The HUAC vs. the Hollywood Ten is a perfect example of this theoretical solution in that the way in which the Hollywood Ten was able to re-insert itself into the industry of Hollywood was by way of the dying down of the anti-Communist sentiments. Having secretly established their careers during the height of anti-Communist feelings they were able to re-insert themselves after the worst of anti-Communist attitudes were over. At this point, the HUAC had all but dissolved and thus no longer had power over the Hollywood Ten and other Communists in

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