Humans have normalized the classifications

You always provide very insightful research, and I enjoyed reading your post this week. I have a question about the statement; “Humans have normalized the classifications we use to define ourselves”. Are the classifications self-imposed or externally imposed? What are your thoughts based on the research listed below and what the Robbers Cave experiment found?

The Robbers Cave experiment showed that hostility can arise between two groups in conflict and competition for scarce resources. Even if, Sheriff’s primary objective in conducting the Robber Cave Experiment was to investigate how members of a particular social group interact and evolve.  Has the world or this country over the last ten years resurfaced and shown its head on the purpose or outcome of this experiment, or are we born with this trait, or are we all members of both intergroups and intragroup?  An easy way to define intergroup conflict is to think about intergroup conflict vs. intragroup conflict: intergroup conflict is two teams fighting against each other, whereas intragroup conflict is two or more members of the same team fighting each other. I wanted to share some research I found when I went back to research this experiment a little deeper.

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Racial resentment of whites toward blacks measured in this manner appears to be less prevalent among younger people (Nteta & Greenlee 2013Maxwell & Schulte 2018). However, its prevalence or relevance to political attitudes and behavior in society has not declined. Racial resentment appears to play a larger role in public opinion in the era of the first black president, Obama, and the racially inflammatory rhetoric of the Trump campaign and administration. Even before Obama became a presidential contender, there were signs that racial resentment was becoming more, not less, relevant for predicting votes among whites in the South (Knuckey 2017). Racial resentment appears to have exerted a weaker effect on approval of Obama in 2012 than in 2009 (Pasek et al. 2014, p. 288), but levels of racial resentment among whites against blacks did not decline between 2008 and 2012 (Pasek et al. 2014, p. 291).  So, based on this research, are the classifications normal or intrawoven into the fabric of the intergroup definition which then carries over into the intragroup conflict?


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