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Segregation - Essay Example

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The essay "Segregation" describes the issue of interracial relations has always been among the most controversial and difficult problems in American society. Racial segregation has a long history in the US, beginning with slavery and evolving into racially separated housing, buses, and trains…
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Despite variety of theoretical models suggested by US scholars to explain the ongoing discrimination in various fields of social life (Massey & Denton 1993; Borjas 1998), the key question still remains unanswered: why several decades of intensive legal and social efforts did so little in terms of eliminating such negative phenomenon as discrimination of minorities Although legal status of minorities is an essential factor in fighting discrimination and segregation, there are likely other equally important factors involved.

Main Discussion
The efforts to cope with the problem of minorities' segregation and discrimination undertaken during the last five decades largely failed. The seeming success of affirmative action when in 1970 - 1980's the number of students who belonged to racial or national minorities significantly increased, was achieved by reverse discrimination of the white majority: cases of Bakke and Webber (Ball, 2000) in 1970's made this fact evident to the public. Eventually, the surveys of public opinion demonstrated the controversy caused by lack of understanding of the affirmative policy in the nation. A recent survey performed by CNN in 1995 discovered that 80 percent of the respondents felt "affirmative action programs for minorities and women should be continued at some level" (RCPO, 1995). However, at the same time any possibility of reverse discrimination, which in fact had been the main feature of affirmative action programs since 1964, was opposed by 63 percent of participants (RCPO, 1995a).
Affirmative action programs in education seem to cause more damage than positive effects. Laws passed to protect minorities from discrimination often led to reverse discrimination instead of...
One of the most known accounts of the relationship between prejudice and negative stereotype was suggested by Milton Rokeach, who established a strong link between prejudice and the perception of intergroup differences.Therefore, affiliation with a certain group is an essential aspect of any individual's life. However, an individual affiliated with a certain group starts to distinguish between his/her group and people who belong to other groups which result in the development of two concepts: in-group and out-group. In-group is defined as "… a group to which a person belongs and which forms a part of his or her social identity" while out-group is "any group to which a person does not belong". The major difference between the individual's perception of in-group and out-group members is the following: members of in-groups possess overwhelmingly good personal qualities, while out-group members are perceived with a certain share of negativism. This unique psychological mechanism is likely to be an important contributor to the ongoing discrimination and segregation in the US. This mechanism provides a valid explanation for the phenomenon of ‘voluntary segregation': segregation and racial isolation which results from voluntary choices of the minority representatives in housing, education, etc. The set of negative stereotypes which developed over the centuries when the white majority and the minorities lived on the same territory is an equally important factor in the ongoing discrimination. ... Read More
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