Intergroup relations refer to the way given diverse groups within a society to conduct themselves with respect to the rest. A grouping is either based on ethnicity, race or religion. In every country, some religious, ethnic and racial groups often enjoy opportunities denied to some other groups. For instance, cultural diversity in Quebec brought a lot of challenges between the English and French speakers (Marger, 2008), with each of the groups having a feeling of superiority and need to be recognized. In Mexico, a similar problem almost replicates but in this area it is mostly due to a gender imbalance in the society as well as the mistreatment of the Mexican Indian People.
In other countries like Brazil, a similar situation also replicates as there look to be racial related injustices in society with Black Africans being sold as slaves to perform forced labor. Nearly in every corner of the world, there are some social problems often manifested in the social vice-like gender indiscrimination, inequality in the distribution of resources, racial segregation and many others (Marger, 2008). The extent of this denial differs from one nation to another. This essay paper will cross-examine various intergroup interactions in different states and carry out a comparison of the same. The case study will be based on intergroup relations in South Africa, Brazil, and Israel
Gradually in Brazil, it has come to the knowledge of her citizens that discrimination and racial prejudice really exist. A survey conducted in the year 2000 in Rio de Janeiro established that 93% of the people surveyed believed that racism does exist in Brazil, with 74% saying that there existed a lot of bias. Today, there is a significant income disparity in Japan, with what is referred to as the people of color being disproportionately consolidated in the lowest income generating levels of the society. This is a big drift from what many people perceived Brazil to be in the 20th century. Brazil was described as a country of “racial democracy” (Marger, 2008). From a historical point of view, racism is rare in Brazil and the term ‘color’ is commonly used in place of race. However, today in Brazil a skin of light color is more frequently used to enhance social status though there is an exaggeration of the impact. Recent data released according to the people’s income controlling for education, age and gender show that the Blacks in Brazil earn 12% less than the mixed ancestry people (Marger, 2008). To make the matter worse, whites earn 26% further. This tells us that there is a problem in intergroup relations in this particular country. However, there is some trace of hope in the judicial systems as mechanisms are being put into place by the government to eradicate this interaction problem. For instance, affirmative actions have been introduced and there has been tremendous improvement with charges relating to racial abuse becoming common.
In Israel, one of the most powerful nations in the world, there also appears to exist some great conflict in her coexistence and relationship with neighbors notably the Palestinians. Upon the end of the Gulf war in 1991, there were some hopes that peace would be restored in the Middle East. However, this was short-lived as more instances of war continued to be witnessed in Egypt in 2011 (Marger, 2008). The significant elements in the peace plan sought to resolve the prevailing conflict between the Palestinians, Egypt and her Arab neighbors. Although the cause of all this is being debated in the political realm, the source of the conflict can be traced back to race, religion, and ethnicity. Just like the case of Brazil, there is some sort of tension resulting from the pressure by the disadvantaged groups wanting to experience freedom and autonomy like any other individual. About 2000 years ago, there was the exile of the Jews from Palestine in the Diaspora which pushed them to settle in the Middle East and Europe. When the Roman Empire was converted into Christianity, many Palestinians became pilgrims of the Christians. There was also a big conflict from other Arab nations like Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Although the primary focus here is the Jews and the Palestinians, there is a significant ethnic issue present in Israel. The study has revealed that amongst the Jews, 67% are born in Israel, and 23 are American born and 6 percent are African born (Marger, 2008). As such, there exists deep cultural diversity which translates to socioeconomic differences with the Europeans being better represented in the parliament and more prosperous. All this conflict is similar to Brazil, and the cause is traced to racism.
The Republic of South African has not been left behind. South Africa differs from the rest of Africa states in that, the original Africans are not present anymore and the country remains multiracial. Europeans began settling permanently in South Africa in 1652. The British entered the territory by acquiring some part of South Africa by the year 1814 (Marger, 2008). Indians also came in through an introduction by the British who needed them to work in the firms like the sugar plantations. Another race called Cape Coloureds emerged from the sexual relations between the Dutch and the Hottentot women. The Boers had penetrated into the interior so as to find better conditions and vast ranches for their cattle and sheep. Throughout the stay of all these races, enormous friction often developed amongst them with instances of the popular apartheid which lasted until 1994 (Marger, 2008). Other discriminative rules and policies included pass laws that were imposed on Africans to restrict their movement. When the British colony freed the slaves and accorded civil rights to the Africans, the Boers were unhappy. They spent a better part of the 19th century in violence with the increasing number of British colonies. Just like the other nations illustrated in this essay, there was a manifestation of social vices. The Afrikaners and the English did not belong to similar political parties, and they also lived apart, worshiped separately as well as speaking different languages (Marger, 2008).
Interaction and relations amongst various groups in different countries of the world did and still manifest social injustices upon some disadvantaged ones. It is seen from the essay that tribal ethnicity and racism still continue to divide countries. In most of these cases, it is the minority groups like women who suffer a lot.
Marger, M. (2008). Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. New York.
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