Thursday, February 05, 2009

Merits of Hatred and Jealousy

A very important study, I say:

By recognizing their inequalities, members of disadvantaged groups can mobilize and attempt to bring about social change. However, the results of a new study suggests that positive contact with majority groups may result in disadvantaged groups being less likely to support social change- with improved attitudes towards the advantaged groups and reduced attention to social inequality, the disadvantaged groups may become less motivated to promote change.


These expectations were the result of overall improved attitudes towards the advantaged group and reduced attention of the disadvantaged group members to the inequalities between the groups. However, these expectations proved to be unrealistic รข€“ the advantaged group discriminated against the disadvantaged group ...


Via Science Daily

3 comments:

Maju said...

I'd say rage, or anger, rather than hatred and jealousy. The latter seem elaborated emotions, while rage is more primal and simple, and the natural spontaneous reaction when confronted with injustice (unless the subject has already been psychologically damaged to the point of not being able to allow his/her anger out).

Anyhow, in the last paragraph the authors suggest that the best approach may be a mixed one: "encounters that emphasize both common connections and the problem of unjust group inequalities may promote intergroup understanding as well as recognition of the need for change".

In other words, if the perceptions only change among the opressed and not among the opressors, there is no real change. And, I'd say, that some defensive violence (show of rage) may be cathartical in order to change these perceptions, by demonstrating both to the opressed and the opresing groups that the former have both dignity (they are no just submissive "uncle toms") and capability to challenge the estabilished order.

But violence alone can hardly solve these problems.

Manjunat said...

I'd say rage, or anger, rather than hatred and jealousy. The latter seem elaborated emotions, while rage is more primal and simple, and the natural spontaneous reaction when confronted with injustice

Here most likely we are dealing with a cold war like situation between two groups and not the full blown conflict. The emotions required for not forgetting the disadvantaged position are constant hatred and jealousy.

Anyhow, in the last paragraph the authors suggest that the best approach may be a mixed one: "encounters that emphasize both common connections and the problem of unjust group inequalities may promote intergroup understanding as well as recognition of the need for change".

I don't understand how they have come to that conclusion. There is nothing in the article that point to that direction. Anyway, I would believe as long as there are two groups nothing would change. If sections of population from both groups understand the injustice and assimilate for a common cause, leaving evil privileged and dumb slaves out, then there could be some change(that is, if one talks about concerted effort). Otherwise, only hatred and jealousy on part of disadvantaged group can keep them focused and motivated as a group.

Maju said...

The emotions required for not forgetting the disadvantaged position are constant hatred and jealousy.

IMO, hatred (a complex emotion) is born from fear (a basic one, like rage) mostly, so you may be right. Opression generates fear, which represses anger and the cocktail generates hatred.

I don't understand how they have come to that conclusion. There is nothing in the article that point to that direction.

Yah, I thought the same. They seem in that pragraph to be exploring, speculatively, alternative constructive solutions to a mere improvement of the perception of the advantaged group among the disadvantaged one. It would mean to get the advantaged group to get in the skin of the disadvantaged ones, to really understand and assume as their own their POV and their problematic.

Looks like a tentative alternative to prevent outright bloodshed.

Anyway, I would believe as long as there are two groups nothing would change. If sections of population from both groups understand the injustice and assimilate for a common cause, leaving evil privileged and dumb slaves out, then there could be some change(that is, if one talks about concerted effort).

Looks like a good idea, at least on paper. The hard part would be to get the advantaged ones to assimilate into that alternative "third way solution" (for the disadvantagedit would only be natural to get in it).

Guess it's the old thesis + antithesis = synthesis equation. But I think that the synhesis is born mostly of the antithesis (i.e. the opressed group), which is able to offer a honorable exit to the thesis (the opressing group and opressive situation) while radically altering the status quo.