Factors that lead to intergroup conflicts
One of the factors that lead to conflict between groups is prejudice. Prejudice results in unjustified negative attitude towards an individual mainly by the individual’s tendency to associate to particular group (Gaertner and Dovidio, 2014). The stereotype is where one team develops negative and irrational beliefs towards another group; this is associated with ignorance and hatred. It exists as an assumption on which inactive and unavoidable roles exist for each cluster. Discrimination is whereby a limitation to the essential opportunities and choices of a minority group is done compared to a dominant group.
Prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination have perpetuated the ongoing intergroup conflict but first, they have inhibited proper communication between the groups (Sherif, 2015). Insufficient communication between the groups leads to suspicion and absence of trust amongst the groups and causes misunderstanding (Al Ramiah and Hewstone, 2013). Discrimination mainly lowers the level of communication, and one group is made to feel that it is not doing well in comparison to other groups.
Secondly, they perpetuate intergroup conflict by causing superiority complex. One group is lead to believe to be superior to another group as a result of stereotypes. Members of one group will then expect members of other groups to be their subjects and obey them to the later (Halperin, Potat and Wohl, 2013). The local gangs have no desire to follow orders from other groups, and therefore, a different situation results among the groups. Thirdly, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination cause biased perception among the groups. The feeling of bias gives rise to conflicting ideas that creates conflict between the local gangs in the detention center (Dovidio, Schellhass and Hewstone, 2017). In the reduction of intergroup conflicts, because of its psychological and social components, both individual and intergroup processes are considered as strategies.
The logic factors which underline prejudice in adolescents can be manipulated to target subtle, unintentional and implicit conflicts that are hardly recognizable and not easily susceptible to change (Tropp, 2010). By using a direct approach, a motivational process is used to create interventions in an attempt to reduce bias. Consideration of prejudice is made where solutions to solve it are available. Individuals are also encouraged to focus on positive ideologies, embrace positive values and to make people see the negativity in their bias. Indirect approaches at a different level reduce bias indirectly by using dissonance principles. Non-prejudiced behavior is induced from individuals whose attitudes subsequently displayed less bias together with their behavior.
The intergroup process focuses on increasing the quality and quantity of contact between groups. A categorization process acts as the major moderator of communication that underlines intergroup contact. During reducing the salience of category distinctions, decategorization is done. The approaches adapted is the differentiation approach and the personalization approach. Differentiation seeks to create a distinction between out-group members while customization enables the viewing of out-group members regarding their uniqueness and about the self (Hewstone, Lollist, Voci, Al Ramia and Cairns). Bias is reduced when in-group members are made former by creating less focus on themselves and directing their attention towards out-group members leading to a reduction of favoritism in groups and reducing bias.
Re-categorization seeks to improve attitude towards former out-group members with the aim of reducing bias. An improvement in mood improves intergroup relations over time. The results of re-categorization are not immediate. More self-disclosing interactions with former outgroup members and subordinate group with positive biases are encouraged and lead to more distinct impressions of the team.
In maintaining the salience of category distinction, the maintenance of important group boundaries is takes place intergroup contact. Generalization is promoted across members of out-group when boundaries are maintained. Moreover, a difference in each team regarding expertise and experience it offers to the contract situation should be made. The result is a respective group differentiation as recognition and valuing of mutual superiorities and inferiorities is made. The positive effect is the reduction of bias when different groups are assigned distinct roles which positively maintain their distinctiveness and creates cooperation.
Social categorization increases complications to groups, the dual identity model intends to increase the benefit of a classification approach, by reducing bias in subgroups by encouraging them to consider themselves as sharing one superordinate identity rather than members of different groups. Equal status interacts enhanced to reduce bias, and no motivation to achieve distinctiveness is encouraged.
In cross-categorization, it states that other members can be classified as in-group members simultaneously or as out-group members. By overlapping membership in the categories, biases are reduced because social categorization is made more complicated (Christ, Schmid, Lolliot, Stolle, Tausch and Hewstone, 2014). Negative attitudes and behaviors can be overcome by firstly, developing respect for other group’s norms. Intergroup group conflicts can be reduced when members of groups recognize and develop sensitivity to the patterns of various groups. Secondly, an introduction of super-ordinate goals. Different groups can be subjected to having the same purpose; this will reduce negative attitudes and behaviors towards each other as the goals are beneficial to both parties enabling both groups to work cooperatively. Lastly, changing perceptions of group members will help in the reduction of negative attitude and behavior towards each other through persuasion and educational appeals. Groups will be portrayed differently as a result.
The boys in the detention center can be encouraged to participate in social activities such as organizing litter collection in the detention center. Garbage collection will provide the different local gangs a super-ordinate goal and therefore foster cooperation among them. A cultural event can be organized, and the boys called upon to perform. The event enables contact between the groups hence reducing bias. Furthermore, the boys will develop respect for each other.
Al Ramiah, A., & Hewstone, M. (2013). Intergroup contact as a tool for reducing, resolving, and preventing intergroup conflict: evidence, limitations, and potential. American Psychologist, 68(7), 527.
Christ, O., Schmid, K., Lolliot, S., Swart, H., Stolle, D., Tausch, N., ... & Hewstone, M. (2014). Contextual effect of positive intergroup contact on outgroup prejudice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(11), 3996-4000.
Dovidio, J. F., Love, A., Schellhaas, F. M., & Hewstone, M. (2017). Reducing intergroup bias through intergroup contact: Twenty years of progress and future directions. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 1368430217712052.
Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2014). Reducing intergroup bias: The common ingroup identity model. Psychology Press.
Halperin, E., Porat, R., & Wohl, M. J. (2013). Extinction threat and reciprocal threat reduction: Collective angst predicts willingness to compromise in intractable intergroup conflicts. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 16(6), 797-813.
Hewstone, M., Lolliot, S., Swart, H., Myers, E., Voci, A., Al Ramiah, A., & Cairns, E. (2014). Intergroup contact and intergroup conflict. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 20(1), 39.
Sherif, M. (2015). Group conflict and co-operation: Their social psychology (Vol. 29). Psychology Press.
Tropp, L. R. (2016). Memo on Intergroup Contact in Contexts of Conflict.