Research Paper: Social Psychology

Pages: 7 (2439 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Drama - World  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Nazi Germany used the images and methods of mass advertising to help Adolf Hitler come into power and to control the mass mind once the Party had taken over the state. E.H. Grimbach, the famous art historian and exile from the Third Reich thought that racist and anti-Semitic images were at the very heart of the Nazi worldview, and that the leaders really believed their own propaganda, especially Hitler. These images always showed the Fuehrer as a powerful man of destiny, a hero, savior and messiah who had saved Germany from its enemies. Very often, it even portrayed him as inspired by God as well. During the 1933-45 period, Nazi images also showed how a "virtuous young Germany fought manfully against evil schemers, above all the Jews" (Herf 2). Jews on the other hand were always portrayed as evil, corrupt, perverted, sick and even devilish, such as in the 1940 film The Eternal Jew and the propaganda associated with it. In this film, produced by Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels, they were literally compared to disease-carrying rats that had spread all over the world. All this fit perfectly with Nazi propaganda which blamed the Jews for everything that had gone wrong in history, including Germany's defeat in World War I, the Great Depression and even for starting the Second World War. Nor was the release of this film in 1940 accidental, when millions of Jews had already been registered and ghettoized, and Hitler was about to carry out his often-repeated threat to exterminate the Jews completely (Herf 5).

Thinking About Others -- What judgments do we make about other people?: Racial Profiling

Contemporary Racial Profiling began with drivers on interstate highways, once again with young black males becoming the most frequent target. Robert Vogel of the Florida state police is usually credited for developing the Driving While Black profile, as part of Operation Pipeline on Interstate 95. He found that young minority men driving late model or rented cars, traveling early in the morning and reluctant to make eye contact with the police were most likely to be stopped and searched (Kops 37). Other tell-tale signs were radar detectors, little luggage, out of state license plates and overly cautious driving. With anyone who fit this profile, police would stop the vehicle on the pretext of a traffic violation and then if they owners refused to allow them to search it would bring in drug sniffing dogs. Black drivers who fit the profile would frequently be stopped, often dozens or hundreds of times, although in the vast majority of cases no drugs were found. Timothy Thomas, a young black man in Cincinnati, was stopped by police eleven times in eight weeks in 2001 and received twenty-one citations. He was finally shot and killed by the police, which led to "massive civil unrest and rioting" in April 2001 (Cooper 26). One police chief in Pennsylvania admitted that young black males in fancy cars, driving in white neighborhoods or wearing gold chains were almost certain to be stopped every time the police saw them (Cooper 27). In fact, the racial profile generally overlaps with what police call a 'thug profile' that always includes the color and age of the driver, time of day, type of vehicle and general appearance.

Conclusion

Recent incidents like the Trayvon Martin shooting and the killing of five blacks at random in Oklahoma demonstrate that these issues of stereotyping, prejudice and negative attribution of characteristics and behavior to groups are still alive and well in this society. Social psychology performs its most valuable service to society when it researches the origins and effects of these phenomena, which have had such lethal and genocidal effects in history. Human being are probably born with the ability to stereotype and categorize other into groups, and attribute negative attributes to outsiders, although society, culture, education and mass media generally determine the actual content of these prejudices. That is why racial profiling would be a very fruitful area of research in the future since it occurs every day in American society. People are also born with a capacity for obedience and following leaders and authority figures, and social control theorists are also correct that most are socialized to conform to the laws, morality and expectations of society, and fear the consequences of not conforming. Of course, when a society's goals are criminal, racist or genocidal, this also means that there are large numbers of potential Adolf Eichmann's or the 'teachers' in Milgram's experiment who are ready and willing to carry out just about any orders that authority figures issue. Indeed, they will be even more eager to obey if the groups targeted are already subject to heavy stereotyping and prejudice, as the Jews of Germany were and blacks in the U.S. always have been.

WORKS CITED

Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Penguin Books, 2006.

Cooper, S. "A Closer Look at Racial Profiling" in S.J. Muffler (ed). Racial Profiling: Issues, Data and Analyses. Nova Science Publishers, pp. 25-30, 2006.

Ewen, Stuart. PR!: A Social History of Spin. NY: Basic Books, 1996.

Feenstra, Jennifer. Introduction to Social psychology. Bridegeport Education, Inc., 2011.

Herf, Jeffrey. The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. Harvard University Press, 2006.

Hirschi, T. Causes of Delinquency. Transaction Publishers, 2002.

Kops, D. Racial Profiling.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Social Psychology."  Essaytown.com.  April 15, 2012.  Accessed June 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-psychology-very/8882793.