Ingroup Love, Outgroup Hate

For over 50 years, there have been questions, studies and experiments done to unravel the question of whether “in group love” is synonymous with “outgroup hate”. Many authors have written about this social and psychological concept. By definition, in group love is the love, attachment and loyalty one feels to the group or groups that they are a part of, whether it is religious, cultural or otherwise. Outgroup hate would be a similar in that people hate those who are not in the groups that they themselves are a part of. Studies have shown that one is directly correlated with the other. Other studies have shown a clear distinction between the two.
Allport (1954) recognized that attachment to one’s ingroups does not necessarily require hostility toward outgroups. Yet the prevailing approach to the study of ethnocentrism, ingroup bias, and prejudice presumes that ingroup love and outgroup hate are reciprocally related. Findings from both cross-cultural research and laboratory experiments support the alternative view that ingroup identification is independent of negative attitudes toward outgroups and that much ingroup bias and intergroup discrimination is motivated by preferential treatment of ingroup members rather than direct hostility toward outgroup members.
No one can deny the -isms that exist: racism, sexism, beliefs that are sometimes instilled in individuals before they have an option. It also can not be denied that people gravitate towards what is familiar to them, something that they can relate to even if those same individuals eventually begin to explore unfamiliar situations. However, pride for and love of one’s “group”, in my opinion, does not necessarily reflect hate of other groups. Ignorance of other groups is understood as no one knows everything that there is to know about every group of people. Stereotypes are pretty polpular, assigned to every group of people, unfortunately.
It seems likely, in some cases that ingroup love and outgroup hate are directly connected. Love and hate are strong words and are separated by a thin boundary.
Having a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and Black Studies, this concept is one that has received my attention. My opinion is based on research, observations and my upbringing as well my own experiences. I am not an expert. I am one who loves the many groups that I am a part of and does not hate any other groups of people. Of course, as with most people I assume, I dislike the actions of certain individuals and the groups that they have been affiliated with. I dislike the pain and suffering imposed on various groups of people, even groups that I am not nor have ever been “in”. All groups have a story and our histories are laced with oppression and tragedies. Love is far more benefitial to me than hate is. As Dr. King stated, “hate can not be driven out by hate, only love can do that.”


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