Friday, March 6, 2015
Sneetches, Prejudice, Discrimination, and Status
Dr. Seuss gave us many classics in regards to human behavior. My personal favorite is "Sneetches," a story about two kinds of Sneetches, creatures who lived on the beach, some of whom had stars on their bellies, some who did not.
Those with stars fancied themselves better than the others and excluded those without stars from their social gatherings. Those with stars also had stereotypes about those without. This led to discrimination, name calling, and social shunning. Along comes an inventor who can put stars on those without. Conflict ensues when the originals with stars feel the need to change once all Sneetches had stars--they needed some visible identifier for in- and out-group labeling.
Then the inventor who took the stars off the original star-bellied Sneetches. They reclassified the status of both kinds of bellies.
This new designation leads to chaos as both groups end up adding and subtracting the stars so that everything gets messed up from the original grouping. No identifiers work for in- and out-group designations.
Lessons are learned and the scam artist leaves.
The video version is available here:
Posted by Chuck Schallhorn
The Teaching High School Sociology web site