"I'm a white South African and I'm racist" - exploring the psychology of racism

Group dynamics are at the core of understanding racism and other forms of social prejudice, says clinical psychologist Hayden Knibbs.

Read: Don't blame racism on illness says Eusebius

Knibbs explains that perceptions of race are often shaped by group dynamics, which tend to 'other' individuals outside one's own group.

He adds that the act of discussing racial prejudice can bring the very behaviour forth and evoke strong emotions.

He explored the psychology of racism and group dynamics. Callers also weighed in with their own experiences.

Also read: Is everything you say prefaced with your social labels? Listeners talk identity

The psychology of racism is essentially the clinical picture of why the behaviour occurs.

Hayden Knibbs, clinical psychologist

The moment a group is mentioned, group dynamics are already activated.

Hayden Knibbs, clinical psychologist

Individuals speak in terms of a group and there's a pull to defend one's group.

Hayden Knibbs, clinical psychologist

A listener phoned in to open up about his own racial prejudices and how he has struggled with racist thoughts.

I'm a white South African and I'm a racist. I'm a racist every day.

Russell, caller

I wake up every day and I try to work against it, [just] as an alcoholic or drug addict [would].

Russell, caller

I was brought up racist and I am racist. It is entrenched in me and I've got to acknowledge it.

Russell, caller

Listen to the full discussion on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:


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