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Racial Bullying And Eyewitness Testimony Essay

1860 words - 7 pages

Problem 1: Racial Bullying

Due to numerous reports of Racial Bullying in schools, the Racial Bullying Prevention Group UK has sought advice on how to tackle racial school bullying. They have asked to suggest, based on sound social psychological principles and research, what initiatives could be implemented to tackle bullying occurring in schools based on ethnic orientation.
Farrington (1993) described bullying as “physical, verbal or psychological attack or intimidation that is intended to cause fear, distress or harm to the victim.” Therefore, for it to be racial bullying, it must have the elements of Farrington’s definition with the added elements of deliberately targeting an individual’s race, nationality or colour.
One of the reasons racism may occur is due to the increased competition between local races of a country and immigrated races from another country. For example, most whites held negative attitudes toward school districts' attempts to integrate schools via school bussing in the 1970s (Bobo 1983). This was due to contempt towards racial integration due to a perception of blacks as a danger to valued lifestyles, goals, and resources. This can be explained by Realistic Conflict Theory (RCT), proposed by Campbell (1965), who thought that social intergroup interactions were not adequate enough, and hence proposing the idea of RCT. RCT looks at conflicts and competition between groups of people and why they occur, rather than looking solely at social interaction. This theory suggests that conflicts arise due to a lack of understanding of “out-groups”.
This view is supported by Sherif (1961), who conducted a study on young boys called the Robbers Cave experiment. In this study, Sherif devised three different phases; In-group formation (phase 1), Friction/Competition phase (phase 2) and Integration stage (phase 3). During the first phase, the boys were separated into groups. After the boys were separated into groups, the groups were then pitted against each other in a competition phase, in which the groups had to partake in group exercises, for which the group who won was rewarded. Shortly after, the groups were then integrated during phase 3. The study found that during phase 2 of the study, prejudice was its highest due to the competition, where some groups would deliberately try to achieve the group goal at the expense of the other groups. However, during phase 3, when the groups had integrated, prejudice lowered incredibly when all the groups had to partake in a task which required all boys to co-operate with each other. For that reason, as a solution for racial bullying, it would be best to take an approach from Realistic Conflict Theory, in that the solution must take a more integrative role, as it was a key role in reducing prejudice in the Robbers Cave experiment.
As a solution in schools, the focus must be on integrating all school children so that racial bullying is minimal, such as having team-building days in...

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