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Social Groups

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Social groups have existed throughout time. We know that small social groups have existed in the form of families throughout the history of human kind. Adam and Eve are said to have been the first social group. Social groups are defined as having two or more people interact and identify with one another. Some social groups include but are not limited to; the handicap, the homeless, the poor, the wealthy, the powerful, different religious groups, different races and even sexual orientation. There are several reasons why people join social groups. Most people join social groups because there are many benefits for belonging to a group. People like to feel connected and feel that they can relate to others. People tend to belong to groups and in these groups the dominant personality tends to decide what is right and wrong and what the groups shared beliefs are. We are all free to decide who or what we like or agree with, but we also feel the need to belong to groups and as such, sometimes give up some of what we believe or feel in order to belong to the group. Attitudes towards social groups tend to be fostered through experiences and beliefs passed down from parents and peers.

As such extremes develop between groups, one set of people may feel fine towards one social group yet despise another one. The world of today has changed in many ways towards individual social groups, and we find ourselves reading in the newspaper and listening and seeing on television, all the different attitudes towards social groups. Society as a whole must bear the full responsibility for all the different attitudes. We do not work together as a community but rather as individuals. We are only concerned about what is good for ourselves. No society is perfect nor any person or institute, but for us to succeed, we must all work together for the better of mankind.

There are many attitudes towards social groups and they come in many ways. The question we ask ourselves is "What causes this?", and "What can we do to erase these attitudes?" We still find, even today, bad attitudes towards African Americans. Granted, we have come a long way, but there are still many people who are a long way from changing their attitudes towards them.

"On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was the driver of a car in Los Angeles, California. The driver didn't stop when signaled by a police car behind him, but increased his speed. When police finally stopped the car, they delivered 56 baton blows and six kicks to King, in a period of two minutes, producing 11 skull fractures, brain damage, and kidney damage. Unaware that the incident had been videotaped, the police officers filed inaccurate reports, not mentioning the fact that Rodney King was left with head wounds. On March 15, 1991, four police officers were arraigned on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force" (Mike Lepore).

This event may have lead to the bad attitudes towards authority, particularly against the police. Many African Americans felt that this would not have happened if Rodney King had been white. They believed that the only reason why Rodney King was beaten was because he was an African American. When the four white police officers were acquitted by a white jury selected from the suburbs, thousands of people in South Central Los Angeles responded to the verdict with several days of rioting.

The majority of low income families are minorities. Some people who have no jobs and for those who have jobs, their wages are usually very low and they may end up turning to crime and drugs to make money. Neighborhoods are lost and crime is rampant in these poor areas. Politicians promise many things but do very little. It's up to the individuals themselves to try and get a better education. But for these poor neighborhoods they must build more schools, have a better curriculum and hold the educational system responsible to see that standards are met and maintained. With a lack of money, most of the children from these families don't receive a good education. Better schools result in having a better education. Better education results in better jobs and better jobs means more money. More money could lead to a better way of life and could lead to a better society and country.

"In 1967 the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA) was set up and organized street demonstrations to lobby for civil rights. The Stormont government branded the movement a front for the IRA and banned its marches. In October 1968 the RUC used heavy-handed tactics to disperse a Civil Rights Association march in Londonderry and in January 1969 a People's Democracy march was attacked. Tensions between Catholics and Protestants deepened, and by August 1969 Catholics were being burned out of their homes and shot on the streets of Belfast" (BBC-History -The Troubles).

How is the life of the young people in Northern Ireland, where faith becomes conflict with blood and death on the urban streets? The Irish conflict



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