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Identity and Social Hatred. Diversity and Identity

A person’s sense of identity plays an essential purpose in establishing one’s role in society. It always goes in conjunction with the degree of cultural diversity, which cannot be fully appreciated without valuing an individual’s identity. However, these terms can be opposed by various forms of social injustice, such as discrimination, stereotyping, or prejudice. Any member of an ethnic minority group has experienced these manifestations of hate, which can only be solved through empathy and taking one’s perspective. Therefore, it is critical to be proactive in eliminating such occurrence of hate in order to make a group and society functional with high levels of tolerance.

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Diversity

Culture is necessary for a person because it provides his autonomy, providing opportunities for choice, and culture has instrumental value for the self-esteem of an individual. The main question is not just the fixation of belonging to one or another culture, but that the individual’s own culture must be protected because it is challenging to renounce it. Views should develop in the direction from the statement of the instrumental value of a person’s belonging to a certain culture to an egalitarian statement.

This is important because members of a cultural minority group have limited access to their own culture, and unlike members of a dominant group, they need special protection. In societies with cultural diversity, one can easily find examples of state support for the culture of some social groups compared to other groups (Kite & Whitley, 2016). While states can avoid explicit racial discrimination as well as official support for any one religion, they cannot avoid recognizing any language as an official state language. Cultural and linguistic dominance can translate into economic and political dominance. Cultural dominance can also take a symbolic form, for example, the feast of Catholic Christmas in Europe, America, and other countries, demonstrating that the customs of this group are more valuable than other groups. In this regard, multiethnic rights can be seen as a requirement for the equal integration of cultural minorities into a dominant culture, rather than a rejection of integration.

Identity

In modern conditions, entry into society and the form of social realization is carried out experimentally, and a person becomes a unique project. A feature of personality projects is a particularly high risk of incompleteness or inadequacy to the expectations that a person develops for himself and due to the significant spatial and temporal extent of the process. He or she is hampered by the lack of clear defined coordinates, norms, and expectations, due to the increased diversity of subjects of social interaction, available samples that are adequate to modern conditions. In the results of social formation, various qualitative results and risks are possible. The center of the process of social development is the individual, and the experimentally built interaction becomes the beginning of the formation of a new order. The personal basis, reflecting all possible types of interactions, is the daily activity of the personality, and it reflects all forms of relationships that are important for the identity, and the personality develops in it. An important task of the analysis is to determine the direction of formation of personal potential, features of the realization of identity through social characteristics, which reflects the dynamics in changing the social process of personality formation.

On the one hand, it is important to mark individual characteristics that come from the experience of the individual. Individual characteristics find social manifestation or correlate with everyday personal meanings. This is a kind of accustomed ways of the relationship of the individual with social objects and mastered close social reality. On the other hand, there are goals that a person sets for himself, such as a set of social representations. The dichotomy of individual potential and life goals, perspectives create the contour of an individual’s experimental activity in shaping his everyday pattern. They fill and concretize the personal meaning of the sphere in which it is possible to realize the individual potential and achieve the goal. The personal potential is built as a unity of the results of the interaction of the individual with reality.

Injustice and Hate

The desire to group and categorize has always been a key characteristic of people. This is due to the fact that it is easier for a person in a group to feed and protect themselves. Thus, any person can be characterized by the group he belongs to. The concept of identity is the awareness of what people are, includes the perception of not only their personal qualities and attitudes but also the awareness of belonging to certain social groups. In other words, this is an awareness of social identity, and this or that social identity is articulated by a person depending on the situation and as necessary. The theory of social identity is based on the fact that people tend to categorize other people (Kite & Whitley, 2016). This is manifested by a certain convenience because, for example, assigning one or another label to a person is the shortest way to tell about him and many other things. People tend to establish their identity, and they connect themselves with a certain group, calling it an ingroup.

With a lack of positive personality identity, people often try to evaluate themselves by identifying with the group. Many young people gain pride, strength, and identity in belonging to a group. Ardent patriots usually identify with the whole nation, and people who are on the verge of despair often identify themselves with new religious movements, self-help groups, secret societies. A group definition of who a person is, such as race, religion, gender, and profession, implies a parallel definition of who he or she is not. The circle in which a particular group is included automatically excludes other people who are not members of this group. Thus, the very fact of the formation of a group can contribute to the development of preferences among its members in relation to their group, and prejudices may develop regarding outgroups. Once formed, prejudice is preserved for the most part by inertia. If they are socially acceptable, many people will follow the path of least resistance, adapting to the accepted pattern of behavior. People will act in a certain way, not so much because of the need to hate, but as a desire to please their surroundings and gain social approval.

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One of the ways in which social institutions, such as schools, governments, and the media, is to spread prejudice, is segregation. Another way is political, where political leaders can both reflect and reinforce attitudes preferable to the surrounding society. At the same time, if the prejudice is not too deeply rooted in the personality consciousness, then it can disappear on its own if the generally accepted manner of behavior changes and new norms appear. Although prejudice is generated by social conditions, emotional factors add fuel to the fire. Frustration, as well as personality factors such as the need for social recognition and authoritarian tendencies, can help strengthen prejudice. Frustration, those are blocking the achievement of goals, often causes hostility (Kite & Whitley, 2016). When failure or uncertainty is the cause of frustration, people often redirect their anger. This phenomenon is called in psychology as a displacement of aggression. Targets for biased aggression can vary and includes an element to identify the scapegoat. The displacement of aggression is happening not only against certain people but also groups, based on at least the fact that they are different, which means worse.

The need for public recognition and belongingness can also lead to bias and discrimination, which can take a form of bullying. Status offers the possibility of comparison in order to perceive oneself as a person having a certain status, and it is necessary that someone occupies a lower position. One of the psychological benefits that prejudice gives is a sense of superiority. Prejudices are, to a greater extent, infected by those who occupy the lowest level of the social ladder or whose position has deteriorated sharply, as well as those who are threatened with a positive image of their own identity.

Stereotypes and prejudices exist not only because they are socially conditioned or give people the opportunity to shift and project hostility. They also act as a by-product of the normal process of thinking. Many stereotypes arise not from malicious intent, but from the general desire to simplify an overly complex social life (Kite & Whitley, 2016). They can be compared with the illusions of perception and a by-product of the ability to interpret the world around us. One way to simplify what surrounds people is categorization, that is, a breakdown of various objects of the surrounding world into groups. This makes it easier for people to understand them, and if the people in the group are similar, individuals can get the necessary information about the representatives of this group with minimal effort.

In the modern world, an effective way to categorize people is to classify them by ethnicity and gender. Categorization itself is not a prejudice, but it builds the foundation for it. Even the division into groups itself can cause the effect of intragroup homogeneity, that is, a feeling that “they are all on one face” and differ from “us” and “their” group. Since some people usually like people whom they consider themselves to be similar and do not like those whom they perceive as dissimilar, the natural result will be the preference of their group. However, those who are in the minority more often feel their identity and similarity to others compared to those who are in the majority. In general, the closer people are associated with a social group, the more clearly its heterogeneity is visible. The less close these relationships are, the more often people resort to stereotypes.

Taking Action

Negative attitudes or prejudices may subsequently manifest in discrimination. In other words, attitudes can be the flip side of the social hierarchy, not only because they provide a rational justification for inequality, but also because of the special impact that discrimination has on their victims. All the consequences of discrimination can be reduced to two main types. This includes self-incrimination of victims, such as avoiding the fight, self-hatred, and aggressive attitude towards one’s own group, and attributing guilt to external circumstances, such as fighting back suspicion, and increasing pride in one’s group. When the end results are negative, people can use them to justify the discrimination that supports them. Social beliefs can also act as self-fulfilling prophecies. Prejudice can affect achievements, that is, in a situation where some expect other inadequate actions from others, a common concern can cause their expectations to come true.

In regards to students and the educational environment, educators play a central role in eliminating any notion of hate and social injustice. They must protect the right to learn, engage the facts, and stand up against hate and intimidation (“Standing up against hate,” n.d.). In addition, the US Constitution’s stance on the issue is clear because it protects the discriminated people. Therefore, any expression of hate must be immediately dealt with the help of a civil right. This means that educators not only act proactively themselves but also set an example for students to be proactive. Taking one’s perspective can also be helpful to fight back prejudice and bias (“Bullying and bias,” n.d.). Therefore, a multi-leveled approach needs to be taken, where educators are at the forefront.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to understand the primary causes of various forms of hate, such as discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping. The lack of properly developed identity and appreciation of diversity causes frustration among unfortunate people. The latter then use seemingly harmless and convenient approaches of categorization to form prejudices and stereotypes about others. The given context acts as a basis for discrimination and hate, which can act as a self-fulfilling prophecy when the targeted group missteps in order to defend themselves. Thus, it is important to take action, and in the case of an educational environment, an educator’s role is paramount.

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References

Bullying and bias. (n.d.).

Kite, M. E., & Whitley, B. E. (2016). Psychology of prejudice and discrimination. Routledge.

Standing up against hate. (n.d.). Web.

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