According to Ringer (2004), racial prejudice occurs because of conscious, unconscious and preconscious mental functioning that determines how people behave when in a group. In order to explain these concepts, Ringer first tries to define the meaning of the word ‘group’ by stating that there can be no universal definition of the word due to its diverse usage.

He groups it into two broad categories however, by stating that the sociological definition of the term is ‘when two people share common characteristics but who may not have a subjective experience of being together or being members of the same group’ (2004). On the other hand, the psychological definition of the word requires a subjective experience between members of a group, in that they need to know each other and at least interact in the form of letters, mail or face-to-face.

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