(en) The Internet Anti-Fascist: #41, Wednesday, 26 November 1997

Paul Kneisel (tallpaul@nyct.net)
Thu, 27 Nov 1997 20:00:42 -0500

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The Internet Anti-Fascist: #41, Wednesday, 26 November 1997 ______________________________________________________________________


Campaign Against the Nazis (CAN) is organizing a forum on the Eureka flag at the New International Bookshop, Trades Hall, at 6 pm on Wednesday, 3 December - the anniversary of the fall of the Eureka stockade in 1854.

Speakers will include Dean Mighell, State Secretary of the ETU.

Since January this year, CAN has been organizing against National Action, a neo-nazi group with a long history of racist violence. National Action operates "bookshops" in the working class suburbs of Salisbury in Adelaide and Fawkner in Melbourne. National Action actively seek to recruit working class youth to their racist politics.

National Action aims to build a fascist party using the heroes and symbols of the Australian labour movement to create an image of militancy and anti establishment credibility. As part of this strategy, National Action has taken up the Eureka flag as its major symbol, using stickers and posters of Eureka flags emblazoned with anti Asian slogans to publicize their organization and create a climate of fear and intimidation.

CAN has organized this forum on the Eureka flag to present the flag in the spirit of rebellion, democracy and internationalism in which it was first flown.

Campaign Against the Nazis PO Box 798, Brunswick Lower, 3056 Telephone 9513 1521 Fax 9660 3705



by Beth Azar

[Jim Cole just sent this to me. It provides some empirical data on issues related to scapegoating immigrants like the Roma. --tallpaul]

People stereotype other races and cultures to preserve a sense of self and a feeling of personal power, according to research by Steven Spencer, PhD, and Susan Fiske, PhD.

Spencer, of the State University of New York, Buffalo, conducted a series of studies that put subjects in situations that threatened their self-esteem. In one study, subjects took an intelligence test and received either a positive or negative score manipulated by the experimenter. The experimenters rated the subjects' self-esteem using a standard questionnaire. Then subjects rated the qualifications of a hypothetical Jewish-American woman for a job.

Subjects who thought they'd scored low on the intelligence test more often rated the job candidate negatively. A self-esteem test taken afterward showed significant increases in self-esteem after subjects engaged in stereotyping.

He also found that people were more likely to stereotype in such self- esteem-threatening situations if they scored high on the Modern Racism Scale--a standard questionnaire.

'Stereotyping seems to be automatic for some people when they sense a threat to their self-esteem,' said Spencer.

Fiske theorizes that people in positions of power tend to engage in more stereotyping. The powerful--bosses, supervisors, managers--are rarely stereotyped themselves because power demands attention and stereotyping demands that one not pay attention.

Two processes make the powerful prone to stereotyping others, said Fiske, of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. First, because they're powerful, they stereotype by default--they simply don't pay attention to information that makes people unique. Second, when the powerful must justify decisions they make about other people, they stereotype by design. They don't have time to see people as unique so they hear and see only things that confirm their stereotypes.

To test these theories, Fiske and graduate student Stephanie Goodwin had subjects judge hypothetical job applicants. Half of the subjects were given a lot of power in the decision and half were given little power. They reviewed applications from a Hispanic and a white woman.

They found that subjects with the most decision-making power paid less attention to individualizing information and more attention to stereotype-confirming information. For example, the powerful would ignore personal references about the Hispanic woman's efficiency and pay particular attention to references that implied she was ignorant or unreliable. As power increased, use of stereotyping information increased, said Fiske.

The researchers conducted a second study examining whether a dominant personality had any effect on stereotyping. All the subjects had equal power but the researchers found that people with dominant personalities ignored individualizing information and paid particular attention to stereotyping information, just as the powerful subjects had in the previous study.

Fiske imagines the powerful driving around in a fog and tuned into one radio station--the one that confirms their stereotypes.

--Beth Azar [distributed by Jim Cole <cole@eburg.com> [<http://www.eburg.com/beyond.prejudice/>]


Administrative Matters

I can't help but think that the Native Americans would have done better had they let the Pilgrims starve; but have a happy Thanksgiving anyway.


-- tallpaul Fascism: We have no ethical right to forgive, no historical right to forget.

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