UMass Boston News

Sociology Colloquium Series

Jim Sidanius, PhD in Psychology, University of Stockholm, Sweden
Harvard University, Departments of Psychology and African and African American Studies
Presentation Title: "Under Color of Authority: Terror, Intergroup Violence and the Law: A Social Dominance Perspective"

ABSTRACT: While the criminal justice and legal systems of all modern societies are, in part, dedicated to the maintenance of “law and order," I shall argue that another important and ubiquitous function of these social institutions is the maintenance of group-based, hierarchical order. One of the mechanisms for achieving this group-based hierarchical structure is in the allocation of individuals with appropriate personality and attitudinal predispositions to social and institutional roles with matching hierarchy-enhancing and hierarchy-attenuating social functions.

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