Psychologists and sociologists offer very different perspectives on how children acquire prejudice over the lifecourse. The clearest contrast between the two can be seen in their basic assignment of cause: while psychologists attribute prejudice to normal adaptive development, sociologists look first to the social environment. Psychological theorists emphasize the internal mechanisms that lead to prejudicial thinking, the development of in-group and out-group theories, the social cognitive perspective, and the idea of social identity formation (Allport 1979, Tajfel and Turner 1979, Aboud 2005). Alternatively, sociologists focus on the impact and strains that social forces impose upon group relations, fostering theories on group frustration and anxiety (Parsons 1954), domination and subordination (Blumer 1958), and ethnic and racial social distance (Bogardus 1925).
- Preservice Teacher
- Social Identity
- Social Distance
- Social Identity Theory
- Multicultural Education
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The author would like to thank Jeffrey Dowd, LiErin Probasco, and Peter Stein for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
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© 2014 Diditi Mitra and Joyce Weil
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Donoghue, C. (2014). Psychological and Sociological Perspectives on the Acquisition of Ethnic and Racial Prejudice in Children. In: Mitra, D., Weil, J. (eds) Race and the Lifecourse. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137463111_1
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