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Attitudes and Persuasion
I believe that people should be allowed to enter into a same-sex marriage and that marriage is a right that all people should have regardless of their sexuality. My attitudes on this topic were influenced by my friends and by learning more about the discrimination of the LGBT community. My views on same-sex marriage affect my political actions, such as voting. I think that, in this context, an attitudinal change would only be possible if same-sex marriage had a negative effect on the lives of people who are not heterosexual.
As Australia was preparing to vote on making same-sex marriage legal, there was an advertisement on the TV urging people to vote against it (“Widespread and Compulsory”). The ad targets parents of school-aged children, as three women share their concerns about the impact on same-sex marriage legislation on parenting. It uses the attitude theory by presenting viewers with a potential threat. Referring to LGBT-friendly education, one woman says that “When same-sex marriage passes as law overseas, these types of programs become widespread and compulsory” (“Widespread and Compulsory”).
The ad then states that “in countries with gay marriage, parents have lost their rights to choose” (“Widespread and Compulsory”). The ad uses persuasion by showing the issue in a larger context, exemplifying how it affects parents. The ad also plays on the idea of choice, which is central to people living in democratic countries. However, the negative side of same-sex marriage legislation shown in the add it incomparable to its benefit, and thus the ad was ineffective.
Stereotyping, Prejudice, and Discrimination
One particular group that faces stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are Muslim people. After the events of the 9/11 and other terror attacks, many people in Europe and the United States developed a stereotype that all Muslim people are terrorists, which led to prejudice and discrimination. In Western society, Muslim people are more likely to be alienated or even assaulted than most other ethnic or cultural groups, thus falling victims to the destructive behaviors of others. For instance, the news showed reports of Muslim girls asked to take off their religious attire in schools or the streets. Another recent example of discrimination is the Muslim Ban, which resulted in the deportation of thousands of Muslim people.
The cause of this prejudice is fear, which was sparked by news reports about Muslim terrorism. In the news and on social media, any large-scale attack that resulted in deaths is labeled as a terror attack before the details of the incident are confirmed. This causes people to develop a bias against Muslim people and facilitates destructive behavior. To reduce this prejudice, it is necessary to reduce the negative portrayal of Muslim people in the media and include more positive images of this religious group.
The “yellow vest” protests in France have recently attracted global attention due to the opposition between the people and the police. The protests have already resulted in some arrests, and the protesters are reported to continue engaging in acts of violence (Clarke and Mezzofiore). The protests are rather controversial, as they serve as an example of both conformity and disobedience. On the one hand, people with varied political beliefs show conformity by wearing similar clothing and expressing the same ideas. On the other hand, the protesters demonstrate disobedience by engaging in violent confrontations with the police and the government.
In the present example, group processes influence people’s behavior in several ways. First, being part of one political movement increases people’s followership behavior, thus causing those who never committed a crime to be violent. Secondly, shared views on one political matter promote connectedness within the group, which leads to solidarity and extends the influence of these protests. Lastly, the function of the group, which is the opposition to a new eco-tax in France, will likely influence people’s future obedience with similar legislation. Hence, the “yellow vest” protests might be an inspiration to future demonstrations of disobedience.
Clarke, Hillary, and Gianluca Mezzofiore. “Who Are the ‘Yellow Vest’ Protesters Causing Chaos in France?” CNN. 2018. Web.
“Widespread and Compulsory.” YouTube, uploaded by ACL. 2017. Web.