One. Troop 909 is Las Otras, The Other. They smell like wet dogs. They exude spoiled privilege. They stir resentment in the less privileged. And they embody the word, “Caucasian,” the very essence of pejorative. One of the rules of tribalism is to demonize the Other in order to reinforce the cohesiveness of the tribe. Throw critical thinking out the window and be loyal to your group as you hate the Other. By embracing this tribalist point of view, they take on the ignorance persecuting ways of the very oppressors they allege to despise. In this case, they plan to attack a group of girls who turn out to be “special learners.”
Using a label has immediate dehumanizing effect. Using the label shows your loyalty to the group. If others in the group are using the label, then you typically follow and in using the label, the Other loses their humanity.
Two. Characterize the images the girls have of whites on page 5. Privilege and entitlement leading to hatred and envy. The irony is that these stereotypes contradict the true nature of the white girls who are special ed and as such must face serious challenges and prejudices in this world.
Three. What evidence is there that NO racial epithet was uttered? 5-7. Arnetta coerces Daphne into saying yes as if saying no would be a betrayal toward Arnetta and all the girls. Arnetta wants to be embattled in order to assert power. See 27. Arnetta points to a girl who doesn’t even speak; then Arnetta says the girl was someone else. But that's the point: Once it's asserted that an epithet was used, people in the group feel obliged to believe it or else their loyalty will be in question.
Four. What the story’s ending says about power: The oppressed imitate the oppressor but in doing so they are not free like the released inmates described in Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning.
The Essential Motive for Tribalism:
Belonging and Acceptance
We compromise our critical thought in order to conform to the group (or group leader's) beliefs and actions even when we deem those thoughts and actions to be in error.
We minimze conflict by reaching consensus (group agreement) without critical evaluation or without considering opposing points of view.
Groupthink leads to the ingroup becoming irrational in its dehumanizing and stereotyping of the outgroup.
Causes of Groupthink:
1. high group cohesiveness
2. insulation of the group
3. lack of impartial leadership
4. lack of proper critical thinking procedures, including the power of devil's advocate, meaning to consider the contrary view
5. homogeneity of the group
6. lack of diverse ideologies.
7. external threats: feeling under threat, in other words
8. recent failures making the group defensive and "chippy"
9. excessive difficulties in reaching decision
10. self-censorship in an atmosphere of fear and anxiety regarding different opinions
11. failure to have contingency plans
12. failure to examine risks of the preferred choice
Examples of Groupthink
US invasion of Iraq in 2003
2009 Acura TL with sharp beak lines that won't age well
Chromosomes in a cell; everyone says 23 but there's really 22. A scientist speaks up.
A little boy in China insults a rich boy who made a butterfly.
Beating up someone to "save your honor."
Drawing from no fewer than 3 stories from the collection Drinking Coffee Elsewhere and your own personal experience, write a 5-page extended definition essay in you expound on the term groupthink.
Your essay must have an attention-getting introduction, a thesis, your single-sentence definition with distinguishingt characteristics and body paragraphs that illustrate those characteristics.
You must have a Works Cited page with no fewer than 4 sources.
When defing a term like groupthink, avoid a circular definition.
Love is joy. What is joy? Joy is love?
Parenting is nurturing. What is nurturing? Nurturing is parenting.
A typical definition has three components:
Irony is the ability to perceive the hidden truths behind surface appearances, to find unexpected reversals that contradict common wisdom, and to recognize humor in absurdly despairing situations.
Nihilism is a form of despair in which one loses all sense of right and wrong, one rejects common morality, and one rejects the very idea of a meaningful existence and instead embraces the idea that life is a random absurdity, an infuriating puzzle that cannot be put together.