Prejudice: Prejudice is defined as a preformed and unsubstantiated judgment or an opinion about a person or a group. The term prejudice indicates an irrationally unfavorable or hostile attitude towards the members of another racial or ethnic group. The distinctive characteristics of prejudice, as opposing an ordinary opinion or belief. It only reflects the feelings within an individual without regarding the facts. This leads to use of stereotypes and oversimplified generalization about the group which the prejudice is directed.
Examples of prejudice: Prejudice was abound in history. A prejudice attitude was held by a dominant ethnic group against a minority within the same society and this resulted in discrimination.
Discrimination: it means unequal or different treatment or harassment that causes harm.
The most precise kind of discrimination is segregation.
Segregation: It is the isolation of ethnic groups enforced by law or custom or both.
Integration: It is the mixing of ethnic groups, it might lead to the rapid disappearance of prejudice. Theoretically, prolonged contact between people should destroy stereotyping, but practically, prejudiced attitudes often proved that it is extremely difficult to destroy, even when integration is enforced by law.
Symptoms of Prejudice:
In order to call someone as being characterized by prejudice, we will need to consider some properties or characteristics in that person. Prejudices usually possess negative feelings towards other people or things. They might also suffer from stereotyped beliefs and tendency to distinguish members in the group they are involved in. People who hold prejudicial attitudes to others, often tend to see everything around them alike, as if it was just one thing. Consequently they fail to look at each person in their society as a unique person; they fail in the process of differentiating between different people in the society.
Effects of Prejudice:
The results of prejudice go proceeds after the aspect of how it affects the prejudice victims as whole and the formation of relationships between people. Very small or unintentional prejudicial actions have an effect on society as it can create barriers for entire populations such as women or minor societies that look forward to enjoying the benefits that most people enjoy in the society. In some cases prejudice might be intentional for the purpose of under-estimating other people in the surrounding. Whether the action is intentional or not, it’ll have a harmful effect on the victim of prejudice. People targeted by prejudice based on skin tone, gender, community class or religious beliefs, suffer from low self-esteem and they don’t know where they belong in the society. They have feelings of hatred and anger to both the outward society and to themselves for the character they are prejudiced for. Prejudice not only affects the prejudicial victim but also affects the person performing those bias actions. That person has anxiety or anger, or his mood can be changed due to the prejudicial actions and feelings he/she possesses for the targeted person. Another consequence of prejudice is stereotype threat. Stereotype threat occurs when someone is afraid and anxious, that their fear might lead to worsening his/her attitude which might increase the prejudice they are subjected to.
How can we deal with Prejudice?
Researchers have developed ways to reduce or even eliminate prejudice. One method is to train people to be empathetic towards others. This way they can wear other people’s shoes, understand how others feeling when they are committed to prejudice and consider their dissatisfaction to being in such situation. Another way of fighting prejudice is putting laws and restrictions that need justice in the process of making communications between people. This way prejudices will be forced to stop their unwanted behavior as a sort of submission to the laws of the government. As a result, local seminars and parties will be held to gain the social support of people and make them strongly stand for anti-prejudice social norms. In addition, prejudice could be reduced by making people aware of incongruities in their own beliefs. Therefore, contact between members of different social classes would be increased, which will create an environment full of peace and fair contact between members of different social classes of the society.
Crowd behavior: Crowd behaviour is the behaviour which is conducted by individuals who gather in a crowd. In everyday life the word crowd is used to indicate a range of situations that involve an assembly of persons, for example a crowd on the internet to buy tickets for a concert or a crowd at a festival. The word crowd is used to indicate what type of group is meant in terms of size, description, composition, motivation, proximity and cohesion of individuals. The definitions of the crowd behaviour evolve around the concept of gathering and accompanied by a description of what binds the individual in the crowd. Most definitions include the concept of psychological group by adding a binding between the individuals in a physical crowd to refer to a crowd gives more information about a group of individuals as a crowd involves the co-presence of individuals at a specific physical location. When crowds are addressed by researchers of media this always involves the change and rise of a psychological group. However, a crowd does not necessarily need to be a psychological crowd, moreover it is relevant to capture this process of being part of a psychological group. To gain understanding the meaning of the crowd behaviour, in this thesis the definition for a crowd needs to be able to encapsulate a non-psychological group and also deviates from the notion of crowds used by most common researchers, these definitions assume too much about the relationships between individuals which these relationships needs exactly to be able to change and emerge during time. To recapitulate in the thesis a crowd’s definition is group of individuals at the same physical location at the same time. Crowd behaviour during an event can be described in a variety of ways given the definition of the crowd such as beach festival .This field relates to the behaviours and thought processes of both the individual crowd members and the crowd as an entity. Crowd behaviour is heavily influenced by the loss of responsibility of the individual and the impression of universality of behaviour, both increase with crowd size, the foundation of crowd behaviour .the field of the crowd research is almost as dynamic as the phenomenon itself. From the 18th century the scientists try to explain crowd behaviour with specific focus on riots. It has gone through some extensive changes, from explanations without (social) context, to descriptions with an empirical base. The field started off by producing crowd theories without a link to reality (Re_icher, 2001), creating the so-called myths: emotionality, destructiveness, anonymity, uniformity, Suggestibility, irrationality and spontaneity. All of these myths evolved around the view of a crowd as extraordinary and requiring specific explanation. the following period evolved around falsifying these myths by many observational studies.
There are seven myths of the traditional foundation which they are:
1- Myth of spontaneity: the idea that in a crowd violence occurs more suddenly.
2- Myth of anonymity: the idea that individuals in a crowd feel more anonymous.
3- Myth of suggestibility: the idea that individuals in a crowd are more likely to obey or imitate.
4- Myth of destructiveness: the idea that individuals in a crowd are more likely to act violently.
5- Myth of emotionality: the idea that individuals in a crowd become more emotional.
6- Myth of irrationality: the idea that individuals in a crowd lose rational thought. Crowd psychology is also known as mob psychology, which it is a branch of social psychology.
The modern foundation of crowd behavior:
The iterative process of theorizing, criticizing, detecting misconceptions, and gathering empirical data over the past three decades have made specific what crowds are not. But the developments have also resulted in new descriptions of crowd phenomena, and more clarity with regard to definitions and levels of analysis. Based on this knowledge three important insights are formulated that represent the modern view on crowd behavior in this thesis:
1. Crowd behavior is generated by individuals
2. Crowd behavior is context dependent
3. Crowd behavior is dynamic
Existing models based on the modern foundation:
Below the current models that are based on the modern foundation will be dealt with. They all assume individuals to behave and they all incorporate the role of the social context and the dynamic nature of the phenomenon. All these models focus on describing disorder.
Social identity model:
Reicher applied self-categorization theory; to explain crowd action, and to account for how the instrumental and symbolic motives of crowds and the individuals within them could produce crowd behavior. This explains the felixability and plurality in how people define themselves and this range from one person to another according to group membership ( e.g. social group, religion), a specific meaning and goal is associated with each level of identity which in turn guide the behavior. To start up with the social identity you have to be multiple and constitute complex systems rather than being unitary. Now we can explain that the crowd behavior is a result of individuals as members of the crowd or larger group it represents and behaving according to its shared meaning and understandings.
The elaborated social identity model (ESIM):
The elaborated social identity model of crowd behavior (ESIM) is based on the principles of both social identity theory and self-categorization theory, proposing that collective action can only take place when group members share or perceive themselves to share a common social identity. The model is specifically concerned with crowd behaviors and crowd conflict. Reicher fleshed out his original social identity model into the elaborated social identity model of the crowd, which predicts that shared social identity defines norms that determine both the behavior of the crowd and who participates. ESIM regards social identity as a model of self in social relations, along with the actions that are proper and possible given such a social position. The model accounts for change within context of the event and change within the broader social context. In the context of crowd events such as the riots analyzed, the model proposes that the development of a crowd gathering (i.e., protest) into a crowd conflict (i.e., riot) is essentially the product of two asymmetries: one of categorization and one of power relations. Regarding categorization, for example, crowd participants who view themselves as peaceful and legitimate protesters are viewed by police as a violent threat; police who see themselves as responsible defenders of public order are seen by the crowd as brutal and authoritarian. Regarding power relations, the police are usually much better equipped and organized and therefore able to impose their will on the crowd and the event (e.g., in terms of the crowd’s movement).
Flash point model:
The flash point model explains the circumstances under which public disorder is likely to break out or fails to “ignite” with use of a general framework. The general framework integrates relevant factors by attributing them to a level of analysis and explains from each level how likely disorder is. The model incorporates six interdependent levels of analyses: structural, political / ideological, cultural, contextual, situational, and interactional. Each level describes a relation between disorder and relevant factors. The factors range from global contextual factors (macro) to face-to-face interaction (micro) factors. For instance macro factors defined on the structural level, such as material inequality is related to collective grievances or resentment in society. In terms of the interactional level, the direct interactions between groups are taken into account to explain potential disorder. The “flash points” represent incidents that may spark off disorder, each level function as a situational indicators whether an incident may function as a flash point.