Threats, Intimidation, and the Strategic Use of Fear

  • Carol Barner-Barry


As far back as the 1950s, scholars found a correlation between religious fervor and intolerance of nonconformity (e.g. Stouffer, 1955). Building on such findings, Gordon Allport and J. Michael Ross (1967, 434) made a distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic orientations toward religion. Those who have an extrinsic religious orientation approach religion in an instrumental and utilitarian way and tend to use religion for such ends as security, status, and self-justification while people who approach religion with an intrinsic orientation attempt “to internalize it and follow it fully” in the sense that they live their religion. Allport and Ross concluded that “the indiscriminately pro-religious are more prejudiced than the consistently extrinsic, and very much more prejudiced than the consistently intrinsic types.” Prejudice, in turn, “provides security, comfort, status, and social support.” Also, they asserted, “prejudice itself is a matter of stereotyped overgeneralization, a failure to distinguish members of a minority group as individuals” (Allport and Ross, 1967, 441–442; Feagin, 1964).


Police Officer Hate Crime Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Religious Fundamentalism Death Threat 
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© Carol Barner-Barry 2005

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  • Carol Barner-Barry

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