Ethnic and Minority Studies Program

ELTE Faculty of Social Sciences

2007/2008 Academic year

Fall Semester

The Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations

Time: Friday, 14.00-16.00

Place: Kecskeméti u. 10-12, Room 115

Instructor: György Csepeli György

TA: Gerg§ Prazsák

The aim of the course

This course is aimed at providing students with an interesting overview of the field of intergroup relations. Both theory and reseach will be surveyed supported with multimedia materials such as animation, documentary and fiction films. The approach which we are going to take here is offering a multiplicity of viewpoints. Hopefully, we will reveal the richness and diversity that characterize this field of social psychology. The course has been designed to understand basic intergroup phenomena such as categorization, stereotyping, prejudice, ethnocentrism, favoritism, biased attribution, minority self-hate. Participation in social psychological experiments will help students to integrate scholarly and everyday experience.


Students are expected to be present in class and take part in the discussion. Short tests will serve for measurement of level of knowledge based on readings and lectures. At the end of the course students are required to write a paper which is related to some of the issues discussed.

Access to Readings

Access to eLearning material


The final grate will depend on performance in class, results of the tests and the term paper.

Basic reading

Allport, G.W. 1958. (Abridged Ed.) The nature of prejudice. New York: Vintage Books.

Horowitz, D.L. 1985. Ethnic Groups in Conflict.Berkeley etc. The University of California Press.


1. The process of Social Categorization

Categories as a means of construction of the word within, categorization effects, historical and social context of categoriazation, Genezis, X., the role of name in group formation.

Demonstration: replica of the Tajfel-Wilkes experiment

Tajfel, H. 1971. Human groups and Social Categories. Cambridge University Press. pp.127-141


Ingroup-outgroup dichotomization, taken for granted attitude, ingroup pride, outgroup contempt, values, typifications and relevances, malignant process of intergroup relations (from distrust to destructive entitlement)

Csepeli, Gy., 1997. National Identity in Contemporary Hungary. Boulder:Social Science Monographs. Distributed by Columbia University Press. pp.93-102.

3.Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft

Types of group organization. Small groups, big groups, imagined groups, nomadism and sedentiarism, modernization process, social entropy, resistance to social entropy, construction of boundaries between groups.

Gellner, E. 1983. Nations and Nationalism. London: Blackwell. Pp.63-87

Documentary Film Presentation

Faces of Culture.

4. Setting group boundaries. Social distance

Boundaries help enhance group identity. Culture makes difference. Stereotypes visualize group differences and simultaneously construct the collective character.

Experiment „Simon magician”

Presentation of the pseudo-documentary film „Ewige Jude”

Barth, F. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries. Oslo. Scandinavian University Books. Pp.8-36

Hamilton, D.L., Sherman, S.J. 1994. Stereotypes. In Wyer, R.S., Srull, T.K. (eds) Handbook of Social Cognition. 2nd.Ed. Vol.2. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, pp.1-68.

5. Prejudice, stigma

Prejudice as a function of intergroup encounter based on biased overgeneralization leading to discrimination. Where normal and abnormal meet.

Allport, G.W. 1958.The Nature of Prejudice. New York:Vintage Books.

Goffman, E. 1963. Stigma.Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall

6. Minority experience, perception of minorities

Minorities are large groups of special kind. Lack of cultural, political and economic capital are leading to minority existence. Different types of minorities can be distinguiashed such as historic, migrant and lifestyle minority groups.

Modified version of Hamilton experiment on perception of minority groups

Hamilton, D.L, Gifford, R.K. 1976. Illusory correlation and the mainenance of stereotypic beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology., 39, 382-845.

7. Authoritarian personality, closed mind

Authoritarianism and closed mind are the major psychological conditons resulting in discrimination.

Adorno, T.W. et. Al. 1950. The Authoritarian Personality. New York:Harper and Row

Rokeach, M. (Ed.) The Open and the Closed Mind. New York:Basic Books

8. Nation

National category has become the major principle of differentiation among human beings in modernity.

Anderson, B. 1983.Imagined Communities. Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London:Verso

9. „Otherness”

Interiorization of the Fearful Other:heretics, withces, Jews, prostitutes, homosexuals, lepers in Medieval Europa

Richards, J. 1991. Sex, Dissidence and Damnation. Minority Groups in the Middle Ages. London:Routledge

Schütz, A. 1944. „The stranger:An Essay in Social Psychology.”American Journal of Sociology. 49,6: 499-507.

10. Anti-Semitism

Bibó, I.(1948) The Jewish Question in Hungary after 1944. In Bibó, I. 1991. Democracy, Revolution, Self-Determonation. Selected Writings. Social Science Monographs, Boulder, Co. Distributed by Columbia University Press. pp.155-322.

Presentation of the fiction film „Rafters” by Judit Elek

11. Anti-Gypsy feeling

Ranked inequality and discrimination.

Construction of the Roma Identity in Eastern and Central Europe: Perception and Self-identification.’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Vol.30. No.1. 129-150. (coauthored with Dávid Simon)

12. Racism

Race denies equality of human beings. It pronounes superiority and inferiority among groups based on bilogical differences.

Racism-wikipedia (entry)

13. Media and intergroup relations

Fair, biased and ingroup representation techniques.

Demonstration pieces (TV news, documentary, fiction)

Said, E. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.

14. Resolution of intergroup conflict

Superordinate goals. Mediation. Merge.

Presentation of the non-fiction film „Együttélés” by Livia Gyarmathy

Sherif, M., Sherif, C.W. 1969. Social Psychology. New York: Harper and Row.pp.221-266