Definition of Scapegoat, Scapegoating, and Scapegoat Theory

As most people today use the word(s), "prejudice" refers to a negative or hostile attitude toward another social group, usually racially defined. "Discrimination", on the other hand, refers to an unfavorable action, behavior, outcome, or treatment. The distinction is simple: prejudice is a thought or attitude; discrimination is the expression of that thought or attitude. However, prejudice does NOT automatically lead to discrimination. There is no one-to-one relationship. Prejudice can exist without discrimination, and discrimination can occur without prejudice. The two are related, but not in a strong causal relationship. Also, the institutions of society can discriminate (institutional discrimination) even though the agency is not staffed by people with prejudices. Prejudice and discrimination can take place on the basis of race (physical characteristics like skin color) or ethnicity (traditions, cultural practices, outlooks). Racism is prejudice and/or discrimination based on socially significant physical distinctions. What is made socially significant in racial prejudice is the opinion or attitude that automatically assumes superiority and inferiority based on racial differences.

Define the scapegoat hypothesis, give examples.

Psychology Definition of SCAPEGOAT THEORY: Social psychological term that relates to prejudice
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Sociological definition of scapegoat theory

The world owes nothing to Catalonia. Like who do you think you are?
Spain is one of the world’s most advanced Democracies. There are only a few countries that are more democratic. So, don’t try to play the democracy card.
Spain is way more democratic than most european countries, and anybody with a little bit of common sense already knows that. Not even the Royal family is above the Law!
If you believe in democracy, you should start by obeying laws.
The sovereignty of all Spaniards is not negotiable and never will.
If you believe in democracy, you should also follow the constitution.
Bad mouthing Spain, bitching and writing love letters to world leaders only destroys the credibility of Spaniards (catalans included) around the world. (stop bullying Spaniards!)
Stop forcing catalan language on kids, it only promotes hate, racism, discrimination , division and stress.
they don’t need a language that has no culture!
Catalonia will NEVER be independent, get over it.
If you are a Catalan and you feel different from Spaniards,
well, too bad! You’ll just have to live with it.

Example, sample sentence, & pronunciation of scapegoat theory

Catalans have now drawn up a plan of their own, and so far they have been giving the world an example of how things should be done. Patiently, taking action only after their proposals had been repeatedly turned down. Inclusively, relying on the strengths of all segments of society and not rejecting anyone on any grounds. Peacefully, coming out in hundreds of thousands into the streets to declare their determination, showing no hostility to others and spurning every form of violence. Democratically, with their elected representatives acting on the people’s wishes rather than dictating an agenda from above, and managing to bring together unlikely partners from the right and the left in a wide coalition. Responsibly, with most political forces – excluding only those that excluded themselves from the beginning – working to reach a deal and drive the process forward. And with an open mind: even now, the Catalan leadership is offering to explore with their Spanish counterparts every option of a negotiated agreement rather than going for a rash unilateral move. If this doesn’t have all the markings of a velvet revolution, what does?

This suggests that causes of prejudice can be found in the characteristics of those who are prejudiced.
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SCAPEGOAT THEORY - Psychology Dictionary

The keyword in this definition is "antipathy". It is a strange word which Webster's Dictionary easily defines as a "negative feeling", but psychologists are hard-pressed to define it, and usually describe it NOT as an emotion or feeling, but as something in-between a personality trait and a personal habit. Of historical note, long ago there was a debate in psychology between Theodore Adorno and associates (creators of the concept of authoritarian personality) and Gordon Allport/Thomas Pettigrew (of Harvard) over whether prejudice was a personality trait or not. Although authoritarian personality theory was quite popular (and still is), it didn't explain Southern patterns of racism (people who were good egalitarian people but simply accepted segregation as the way things were) very well. Basically, the Harvard definition won out, and it is generally accepted today that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PREJUDICED PERSONALITY TYPE. It would be a conceptual mistake to blame racism on racist personalities or, to a lesser extent, use phrases like "prejudiced persons" or "racists" to connote the existence of certain personality types. It's NOT part of the personality. It's NOT even part of the socialization process (Prejudice is caught not taught). Prejudice is a faulty and inflexible generalization precisely because it's purely arbitrary, not subject to change, and usually develops PRIOR to any actual real contact with the object of the prejudice. It's the same as passing judgment on someone BEFORE you've ever met them (aka: a "prejudgment" if you will). It's also NOT an emotion, but more of an intellectual position taken irregardless of how much objective information is available to a person. What makes it close to being a habit is that the person thinks their intellectual position is well-thought out, and it serves as a core in all their intellectual thinking. A social science research word with some of the same meaning is bias. And finally, NO TWO CASES OF PREJUDICE ARE EXACTLY THE SAME because of the way each person internalizes it into the core of their thinking.

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A major internal critique of RGC studies is that toe voices challenging the assumptions of mainstream disciplines, including sociology, have focused mainly on issues associated with gender (see Eisenberg' s chapter and Bayne-Smith's chapter), while race and class have received relatively limited attention. Indeed, some research appears to have not given a great deal of attention to class at all in the RGC paradigm. There are fewer studies with class at the center in RGC studies, for example, than either race or gender.

the person may be using the others as a scapegoat and may end up ..

The classic definition of prejudice is the one put forth by the famous Harvard psychologist, Gordon Allport, who published The Nature of Prejudice in 1954: "Prejudice is an antipathy based on faulty and inflexible generalization. It may be felt or expressed. It may be directed toward a group or an individual of that group".