Admitting that Trapp was not a particularly strong authority figure, Browning instead points to the Nazi leadership and the orders of the "highest order" that were handed down. Furthermore, according to Browning's analysis, one reason so few men separated themselves from their task was peer pressure—individual policemen did not want to "lose face" in front of their comrades. Some argued that it was better to shoot one and quit than to be a coward immediately. Some superior officers treated those who did not want to execute Jews with disdain; on the other hand, those selected for the executions or Jewish hunts were regarded as real "men" and were verbally praised accordingly.
For some, refusing their tasks meant that their compatriots would need to carry the burden and the guilt of abandoning their comrades as well as fear of ostracization compelled them to kill.
David Goldhagen, disagreeing with Browning's conclusion, decided to write his own book, Hitler's Willing Executioners. Its release was highly controversial.
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He argues that the Germans were always anti-Semitic, engaging in a form of "eliminationism". Taking photos of the deceased, going on "Jew-Hunts", death marches near the end of the war, and a general focus on hate rather than ignorance are points Goldhagen utilizes in his book. He does not believe that peer pressure or authoritative pressure can explain why ordinary Germans engaged in these actions. He believes that in order for the policemen in Battalion and those in similar situations to kill, they must all be fully committed to the action—no half-heartedness.
As he notes,. Peer pressure can, of course, operate on isolated individuals, or small groups, but it depends upon the majority wanting to do it.
Positive and negative effects of peer pressure
So the peer pressure argument contradicts itself. If the majority of the people hadn't wanted to kill Jews, then there would have been peer pressure not to do it" Instead, he places a significant emphasis on the German people's anti-Semitism, to the extent of drawing ire from other historians. Browning notes Goldhagen's "uniform portrayal" of Germans, dehumanizing all of the perpetrators without looking at the whole picture.
It is less clear, then, if the Germans in the Police Battalion are antagonistic only towards Jews. Their findings confirm the arbitrary nature of his selection and evaluation of existing records as opposed to a more holistic combination of primary sources.
peer pressure Essay Examples
Furthermore, Konrad Kwiet , a Holocaust historian, argues that Goldhagen's narrow focus on German anti-Semitism has blinded him to other considerations. He points to the massacres of non-Jews as an example:. The Rwandan genocide occurred in , with ethnic violence between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnicities. The primary belligerents were the Hutu; however, as with most ethnic conflict conflicts, not all Hutu wanted to kill Tutsi.
For the unwilling, a punishment system was in effect. The combination, Professor Bhavnani argues, is a behavioral norm enforced by in-group policing. Instead of the typical peer pressure associated with western high school students, the peer pressure within the Rwandan genocide, where Tutsi and Hutu have inter-married, worked under coercion.
Property destruction, rape, incarceration, and death faced the Hutu who were unwilling to commit to the genocide or protected the Tutsi from violence. When looking at a sample community of in the village of Tare during the genocide, McDoom found that neighborhoods and familial structures as important micro-spaces that helped determine if an individual would participate in violence. Proximity increases the likelihood of social interaction and influence. As the radius increases, so does the proportion decrease.
This data hints that "social influence" was at play. Of course, the complete situation is a little more nuanced. The extreme control of citizens' daily lives by the government in social affairs facilitated the rapidity of the genocide's spread and broke down the resolve of some who initially wanted to have no part in the genocide. First, prior to the genocide, Rwandans' sense of discipline was introduced and reinforced through weekly umuganda collective work sessions, involving praise for the regime and its leaders and a host of collective activities for the community.
Respect for authority and the fear of stepping out of line were strong cultural values of pre-genocide Rwanda and so were included in these activities.
Peasants were told exactly when and what to farm and could be fined given any lack of compliance. These factors helped to drive the killing's fast pace. Most importantly, there were already ethnic tensions among the groups for a variety of reasons: conflicts over land allocation farming versus pasture and declining prices of Rwanda's main export: coffee.
These problems combined with a history of previously existing conflict. With the introduction of the Second Republic under Habyarimana, former Tutsis in power were immediately purged, and racism served as an explanation as keeping the majority Hutu in legitimate government power. The division in Rwanda was reinforced for hundreds of years. The Belgian furthered the message of distinct races, allowing Tutsi men to remain the leaders in the society. Principals who served as strong "instructional" leaders and introduced new curricula and academic programs were able to create a system of peer pressure at the teaching level, where the teachers placed accountability pressure on themselves.
Peer pressure can be especially effective more so than door-to-door visits and telephone calls in getting people to vote. Gerber, Green, and Larimer conducted a large-scale field experiment involving over , Michigan households in and four treatments: one was a reminder to vote, one was a reminder to vote and a note informing them that they were being studied, one that listed the voting records for all potential household individuals, and finally one that listed the voting records for the household individuals and their neighbors. The final treatment emphasized peer pressure within a neighborhood; neighbors could view each other's voting habits with the lists, and so the social norm of "voting is best for the community" is combined with the fear that individuals' peers would judge their lack of voting.
Compared to a baseline rate of A similar large-scale field experiment conducted by Todd Rogers, Donald P. Green, Carolina Ferrerosa Young, and John Ternovski  studied the impact of a social pressure mailing in the context of a high-salience election, the Wisconsin gubernatorial election. An experiment conducted by Diane Reyniers and Richa Bhalla measured the amount donated by a group of London School of Economics students. The group was split into individual donators and pair donators.
The donation amounts were revealed within each pair; then, the pair was given time to discuss their amounts and then revise them as necessary. In general, pair subjects donated an average of 3.
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Furthermore, in pairs where one subject donated significantly more than the other, the latter would on average increase the donation amount by 0. This suggests that peer pressure "shames" individuals for making smaller donations. But when controlling for donation amount, paired subjects were significantly less happy with their donation amount than individual subjects—suggesting that paired subjects felt coerced to donate more than they would have otherwise.
This leads to a dilemma: charities will do better by approaching groups of people such as friends ; however, this could result in increased donor discomfort, which would impact their future donations. Organizational researchers have found a generally similar phenomenon among large corporations: executives and managers of large companies look to similar organizations in their industry or headquarters city to figure out the appropriate level of corporate charitable donations, and those that make smaller donations might be seen as stingy and suffer damage to their reputations.
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