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Allport’s Scale is a measure of prejudice in a society. It is also referred to as Allports Scale of Prejudice and Discrimination or Allports Scale of Prejudice. It was devised by psychologist Gordon Allport in The Nature of Prejudice (1954).
Allport’s Scale of Prejudice goes from 1 – 5.
Scale 1, Antilocution Antilocution means a majority group freely make jokes about a minority group. Speech is in terms of negative stereotypes and negative images. This is also called hate speech. It is commonly seen as harmless by the majority. Antilocution itself may not be harmful, but it sets the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice. Examples are jokes about the Irish, French, blacks, gays etc.
Scale 2 Avoidance People in a minority group are actively avoided by members of the majority group. No direct harm may be intended, but harm is done through isolation.
Scale 3 Discrimination Minority group is discriminated against by denying them opportunities and services and so putting prejudice into action. Behaviours have the specific goal of harming the minority group by preventing them from achieving goals, getting education or jobs, etc. The majority group is actively trying to harm the minority.
Scale 4 Physical Attack The majority group, vandalise minority group things, they burn property and carry out violent attacks on individuals or groups. Physical harm is done to members of the minority group. Examples are lynchings of blacks, pogroms against Jews in Europe, tarring and feathering Mormons in 1800s and British Loyalists in the 1700s.
Scale 5 Extermination The majority group seeks extermination of the minority group. They attempt to liquidate the entire group of people (e.g., Indian Wars to remove Native Americans, Final Solution of Jewish Problem, Ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, etc.).
- Allport G. The Nature of Prejudice, Addison-Wesley; 1954.
- Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
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