Prejudice And The Scapegoat Theory

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Prejudice and the Scapegoat Theory Prejudice is preconceived opinion to an individual or a certain group which is can be both negative and positive, but mostly negative, that is not based on relevant facts. For example, when some group of people view negatively towards homosexuality and believe it’s a sin. This negative ‘belief’ that is called prejudice is not limited to a certain race or a country but everyone can have a prejudice on something or someone. Psychologists came out with several theories to explain the cause of prejudice but this paper will focus on the scapegoat theory that is commonly discussed as one of the causes of prejudice because scapegoating is a common practice that we are often unaware of but happens frequently in our society. It will talk about the development of the theory, definition and examples of the scapegoat theory. Scapegoat Theory was first introduced in the 1940s when social psychologists tried to explain why aggression or frustration are expressed in the form of prejudice toward others who are not the cause of the frustration (Echabe, 1997). In this time, prejudice was seen by psychologists as being rooted in psychology as the result of human’s defense mechanisms used to solve internal conflicts. A great historical example to explain this is the witch hunt. Witch Hunt was widely held all around the world in between the fifteenth century until the eighteenth century especially in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America. In Early
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