The Study of Man: The Psychological Theory of Prejudice
Ethnic prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination represent a major problem for American democracy. Since American social science has tended to address itself to the solution of practical problems, it is not surprising that a considerable amount of scientific effort has been devoted to the study of prejudice and discrimination, particularly since the publication of Gunnar Myrdal’s monumental work, An American Dilemma, which was published in 1944. This intensive research effort of the last ten years or so has now been systematically summed up in two books by outstanding scholars in the field: The Social Psychology of Prejudice, by Gerhart Saenger, and The Nature of Prejudice, by Gordon W. Allport. Although Saenger and Allport go beyond the summarization of work already done to give their own analysis of the phenomenon of ethnic prejudice, as well as to evaluate current methods of investigation, their two books can be taken as representative of the broad consensus of opinion that exists among modern students of prejudice. With these two books in hand, it is possible to answer the question: What is the modern scientific view of prejudice, and how satisfactory is it?
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