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INTRODUCTION This paper is an examination of how racial opinions in the private sphere compare either positively or adversely to national survey data Participant observation was used to study three separate persons and settings in order to gather data and opinion The first section of this paper discusses developed theories and attempts to lay a foundation for later discussion The methods and data section of this paper goes into detail regarding the participant observation as well as national survey data results Any differences of opinions between the private sphere and the national survey data are discussed in the conclusion of this paper using a new sociological theory termed the chamber pot THEORIES AND PAST FINDINGS Prejudice is commonly defined as an individual attitude of antipathy against another social group usually racially defined Racism is related to prejudice but is more encompassing in that it may be defined as the determination of actions attitudes or policies by beliefs about racial characteristics Dovidio 2001 A long line of social science research has explored the relationship between race and prejudice In the late 1940s it was commonly believed that the primary source of prejudice was ignorance and that prejudice could be attacked by teaching tolerance and by facilitating contact between blacks Schuman Steeh and Bobo and Krysan 1985 1997 The government helped this process by passing equal rights laws and the public seemed to be willing to move towards a classless society However in later decades through inaction there still seems to be little or no public support aimed to help disadvantaged African Americans Schuman et al 1985 1997 This inaction can be explained with a term that Joel Kovel 1970 calls aversive racism which is in direct contrast with the traditional form of bigotry called dominative racism According to Kovel the traditional dominative racist is one who acts out of bigoted beliefs 197054 Aversive racists understand the history of past injustice truly feel sorry for what
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