Social influence and social change

  • AO1:
  • Lessons from minoroty influence research:
  • Segregation in 1950s America: places such as schools and restaurants in the Southern States were exclusive to whites. Civil rights marches drew attention to the situation by providing social proof of the problem. 
  • People took part in the marches on a large scale, Even though it was a minority of African American population, they displayed consistency of message and intent. This attention meant that many people who had accepted the status quo began thinking about the unjustness of it. 
  • 'Freedom ridders' were mixed racial groups who got on buses in the South to challenge separate seating for black people. Many were beaten and suffered mob violence. 
  • Civil rights activists (MLK) graually got the attention of the US governemnt. In 1964 the Civil rights Act was passed, prohibiting discrimination - a change from the minority to majority support for civil rights. 
  • Social cryptomenia occured. This refers to people having a memory that a chage happened but not remembering how. Social change came about but some people have no memory of the events leading up to that change. 
  • Lessons from conformity research:
  • Asch;s research: variation where one confederate always gave the correct answers. This broke the power of the majority encouraging others to dissent. This demonstrates potential for social change. Therefore dissenteres make social change more likely. 
  • Majority influence anf NSI. Environmental and health campaigns exploit conformity to appealing to NSI. They provide info about what others are doing (reducing litter by printing normative messages on bins 'Bin it - others do it') Social change is encouraged by…


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