Revolving Door

Noreen Carnley

SYG 2000-9613

April 20, 2012

Final Essay Project

Revolving Door
Society in the days of Ms. Elliot’s third grade class was a poster child for the four
Theories of Prejudice which are the; Scapegoat Theory, Conflict Theory, Authoritarian Personality and Culture Theory.   Just through the features Ms. Elliot ascribes to the superior and inferior groups shows the characteristics society has built in the stereotypes.   Superior people were smarter, quick learners, more privileges, clean and healthy.   Inferior people were not smarter, slow to learn, did not follow direction, lazy, less or no privileges, greedy, had to wait for them, unclean and may cause disease.     Some characteristics were set forth by the teacher, Ms. Elliot and others blurted out by the third graders.   No doubt they learned them through culture which stands by the ‘Culture Theory’.   The children have not lived long enough to have their own rigid and unfair generalizations about an entire group of people.   Prejudice is rooted in culture by people with authoritarian personalities. It was easy for Ms. Elliot to pray on the weak.
The behavior of the third graders would be considered normal behavior of any third grade child.   Ms. Elliot being an authoritative figure was able to impose her will on others.   Thomas Szasz states ‘to label simply enforces conformity to the standards of people powerful enough to impose their will on others’.   Just as Hitler blamed the Jews, gays, mentally ill for the cause of all evil and impurity during his reign, he also used them as scapegoats for the bigger issue at hand.   Society back then did the same to blacks, used them as scapegoats, to justify oppressing others as stated in the Conflict Theory, all to advance their capitalist ways.   To use them as slaves to gain profit through cheap labor just as in today’s society with the immigrants.
Ms. Elliot selectively interpreted behavior to confirm the stereotypes assigned.   The inferior...