Sue Frantz

Shifting ingroups from TV2 Denmark

Blog Post created by Sue Frantz on Feb 15, 2020

Ingroups can be pretty powerful. We tend to like people in our ingroups more than people in our outgroups (ingroup bias), and we tend to see people in our outgroups as being more like each other than people in our ingroups (outgroup homogeneity bias), for example.

 

There is much rhetoric about Democrats vs. Republicans, immigrants/refugees vs. native born, the wealthy vs. the middle class vs. the working poor, people with homes vs. people who are homeless. Depending on where you live, the groups may be different than these, but the groups are there.

 

The next time you cover ingroups/outgroups, ask your students what groups are most salient to them – on your campus or in your town/city. If you’re in a small college town, it may be the townies vs. those at the college. Write down the names of the groups where students can see them.

 

If time allows, ask your students to work in pairs or small groups to generate examples of how ingroup bias or outgroup homogeneity bias has affected or could affect how each group sees themselves and sees the other.

 

Next, show this 3-minute TV2 Denmark ad that aired in 2017.

 

 

Ask students to share their reactions to the video. If they could get their-previously-identified groups together, what questions would they ask? Who likes pizza? Who likes dogs? Who likes cats? Who likes to drive?  

 

Close this activity by pointing out ingroups/outgroups shift depending on context. When one context—politics, for example—is continually salient, it’s easy to forget that we have plenty in common with members of our—say, politicaloutgroup. What strategies might your students use to help them remember that they may have a lot in common with an outgroup member, and to remember that, in a different context, that person is probably a member of their ingroup?

Outcomes