Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Roz Dixon & Vincent N. Parrillo
The most detailed definitions of scapegoating are in the literature on intergroup prejudice, family therapy, and group therapy. Simply, scapegoating can refer to a situation in which anger and frustration felt toward one person is displaced onto another, often someone less powerful than the person causing the frustration. In the first half of the 20th century, social psychologists tried to translate this idea (also known as projection) into one that would explain intergroup prejudice, but this analytical approach proved too simplistic to explain the complexities of prejudice. However, scapegoating is a well-developed concept in family therapy and group therapy literature. Based on clinical case studies, psychoanalytic and systemic thinking usually underpins such work. Projective identification (a ...