Race Prejudice and Discrimination: Readings in Intergroup Relations in the United States

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview
and accepting environment this child would never have dared to utter her thoughts and therefore would never have worked through her feelings regarding Jews and Negroes. She had learned to individualize people as people and as races.In summary: The therapeutic group, directed toward helping the individual as a whole in his emotional difficulties, can also be effective in overcoming racial and cultural tensions because:
1. The therapy group is a formed group, and therefore offers an excellent opportunity for children to meet interracial or intercultural situations they might otherwise want to avoid.
2. This contact is a close one, since the groups are small and share activities of great variety.
3. The permission of free expression of feelings, negative and positive, in the presence of an accepting adult makes it possible to bring feelings into the open so that the children can be helped to work through these emotions.
4. Change is often brought about through the wish to identify with the accepting adult and through status gained among contemporaries.
5. The worker is both psychiatrically oriented and aware of cultural and racial factors in emotional disturbances.

56 Catharsis and the Reduction of Prejudice *

Gordon W. Allport

[ An experiment in the reduction of adult prejudice, based on a theory similar to that supporting the technique described in the last selection, was tried by Dr. Gordon W. Allport, an outstanding contemporary psychologist. The method of catharsis used by Allport is intended to release the tensions and drives toward aggression that are held to be a source of prejudice. Even if catharsis itself should not lessen prejudice, it would still have the value of permitting a more open consideration of a nonprejudiced point of view. With all the cards on the table, so to speak, the prejudiced person might not be so hostile to propaganda against prejudice. Whereas an extremely prejudiced person will ordinarily not accept facts that challenge his prejudices, the cathartic experience apparently allows him to do so. ]

____________________
*
From The Journal of Social Issues, 1 ( December, 1945), 1-8. Copyright 1945 by The Journal of Social Issues. Reprinted by permission of The Journal of Social Issues and the author.

-572-

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