This works in that people tend to prioritize the need of their own beyond relatives over people who are not in their group. Research in itself has shown that we’re more likely to receive help from someone within our own group compared to someone from a different group. In the documentary ‘Eyes on the prize’, the schools have been segregated racially in that there are schools for black people and those for white people. The groups have been racially based thus it’s beyond relatives. While fighting back against desegregation of schools in the United States, it is evident that black people worked twice as hard to fight this in order to secure better lives and a better future for their fellow black people. White people on the other hand also worked towards helping their own. Take for example, from the documentary, the schools belonging to whites had been totally equipped compared to those of blacks. Blacks had poor learning environments not because the government could not provide for them, but because they were being segregated for not being white.
The norm of reciprocity
This refers to the expectation that helping others now will increase the likelihood that they will return the favor in the future. It is a prosocial behavior since it is aimed at hoping to get something in return. In the documentary ‘Eyes on the prize’, the prosocial behavior is based on self-interest. An example in the documentary points out to governor Faubus who had the black’s people support in the previous election works at making school desegregation unconstitutional as the election period nears with the hope that the people will return the favor in terms of votes as he is facing tough opponents. However, he makes a decision the night before the election. He gets the police deployed in central high in order to maintain peace and order.
Empathy and altruism
Altruism refers to a case where there is a desire to help another person even if it involves a cost to the helper. This involves helping anyone without considering the group they are from. In this documentary, this is clearly laid out when Esther misses the other group of eight black students and has to walk alone amidst an angry mob of white people, not even a single black face in sight. The crowd threatens to even kill her thus all she does is sit down. A white woman helps her get her way to the bus amidst the angry crowd and the bus gets her home safely. This woman’s act is purely an act of empathy and altruism. Despite the fact that all whites are against Esther being there, she still chooses to help her without expecting anything in return.
Myers, D.G., & Twenge, J. M. (2017). Social Psychology (12th edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.