Racial Belief Congruence Theory

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After decades of an active effort to eliminate racism from American society and fulfil the dream inspired by Martin Luther King, one may be more surprised to the level that race relations have continued to remain strained rather than disappearing over time (Sidanius, Levin, & Pratto, 1996, p. 385). The structure of American Society can therefore be understood as a social hierarchy with a white population at the top and a negative black reference group at the bottom. Current social psychology models used to explain prejudice and discrimination are right-wing authoritarianism, frustration-aggression hypothesis and belief congruence. It will be argued that social dominace theory best explains racism between whites and African Americans in the United States of America due to the hierarchical social structure described.
Racism
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Belief congruence theory explains discrimination primarily due to differences in belief, stating that belief is more important that racial or ethnic membership in determining racial discrimination (Cox , Smith, & Insko, 1996). The advantages of this theory was its attempt to discriminate discrimination based on race and that based on beliefs, attitudes and values, while attempting to create a theory applicable not just to the scope being discussed but all race relations (Cox , Smith, & Insko, 1996). One critical application that negates its application to current day US racial relationship is that theory states then when prejudice is institutional or socially sanctioned, belief congruence does not play a role (Vaughan & Hogg, 2014). This theory’s restriction would therefore ignore current issues such as the higher incarceration rates for African Americans who are estimated to be 900,000 of the total 2.2 million prison population (Mauer & King,

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