The Power Of The Situation


A week of urban mayhem was ignited by the April 29, 1992 jury acquittal
of four white police officers who were captured on videotape beating black
motorist Rodney King. The angry response in South Central produced its own
brutal footage, most dramatically the live broadcast from a hovering TV
news helicopter of two black men striking unconscious with a brick, kicking, and
then dancing over the body of, white truck driver Reginald Denny. The final
three-day toll of what many community activists took to defiantly calling an
uprising, revolt, or rebellion, was put at 53 dead, some $1 billion in property
damage, nearly 2,000 arrests, and countless businesses in ashes. These two men,
Damian ...

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intervention, social perception and
reality, and finally, prejudice. Generally looking at the Los Angeles riots,
and specifically drawing upon the Reginald Denny beating and subsequent trial,
the power of the situation becomes evident, as thousands of people living in an
extremely poor and crime-ridden area of Los Angeles, lashed out against a
perception of injustice through violence.
The conditions that lead people to perceive themselves as victims of
unjust actions are rather complex. In this case, the favorable verdicts towards
the officers who beat Rodney King was the "unjust action", not only for Rodney
King, but for the community he came from. The perceived damage to desired
social identities and justice led to resentment on the part of a historically
poor and underprivileged class of citizens. The individual attempts to explain
the event (the verdicts) by processes of attribution in which grievance may or
may not be formed. (DeRidder, Schruijer, and Tripathi, 1992). ...

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the rioters, it is only one of
many factors that eventually led to the infamous Los Angeles riots.
It is safe to assume that for the most part, the individuals
participating in the riots did not have a history of criminal activities. Yet
why did they act upon their grievances in a matter totally unacceptable in their
society and step beyond their social roles? The answer can best be illustrated
by considering at an experiment preformed 20 years ago in Stanford, California.
"The Stanford Prison Experiment (Haney & Zimbardo, 1977) created a new
"social reality" in which the norms of good behavior were overwhelmed by the
dynamics of the situation." (Zimbardo 586). In the same sense, ...

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The Power Of The Situation. (2005, December 20). Retrieved November 27, 2021, from http://www.essayworld.com/essays/The-Power-Of-The-Situation/38295
"The Power Of The Situation." Essayworld.com. Essayworld.com, 20 Dec. 2005. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <http://www.essayworld.com/essays/The-Power-Of-The-Situation/38295>
"The Power Of The Situation." Essayworld.com. December 20, 2005. Accessed November 27, 2021. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/The-Power-Of-The-Situation/38295.
"The Power Of The Situation." Essayworld.com. December 20, 2005. Accessed November 27, 2021. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/The-Power-Of-The-Situation/38295.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/20/2005 03:43:38 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1562
Pages: 6

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