By Gajendra K. Verma, Christopher Bagley
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Both the 'Stranger' and 'colour-dass' hypotheses are very similar in Influences of Ethnicity. Social Class and Religion 35 one respect. This is perhaps why support can be shown for both in the results. They both view negative ethnic attitudes as the means of raising self-esteem, restoring confidence, and security for those who possess low self-esteem, by evaluating one's in-group, either British or middle class, as superior. The data from the Social Distance scale confirm the general belief of the Rogerian school (Sheerer, 1949; Stock, 1949; Rogers, 1951) that a person who is unsure about his own merit, who has low esteem for himself, tends to display less acceptance for others than a person who evaluates himself more positively.
Thus it was hoped that the complex stimulus persons would be acceptable to the subjects, being credible and recognisable as representatives of extant groups. The score for the social distance for each stimulus was computed by summing the scale scores of all the statements agreed with. 4, where all statements were agreed with. A high score thus represents expressed willingness to accept others into a closer social relationship than a low score does. 95. (ii) Acceptance of Self scale The subjects' attitudes to themselves were measured by the Acceptance of Self sub-scale from Berger's (1952) Acceptance of Self and Others scale.
Many therapists too have noted that what a person believes about himself is a major factor in his social comprehension of others and that self-acceptance is a prerequisite for the acceptance of others (Raimy, 1948; Rogers, 1951). The consistent cross-cultural findings ofa specific personality basis to the amount of social distance expressed suggests a general psychological mechanism which functions fairly independently of culture. The self-concept or the attitudes a person Influences of Ethnicity, Social Class and Religion 23 holds towards himself appears to be a suitable candidate for this role.