To determine the significance of social factors in racial intolerance,
the authors studied the relationship between relational behavior and
ethnicity, group status and role, peer acceptance, and group cohesion in an
adolescent correctional institution. Results portray three distinct
patterns of adaptation. Hispanics (Chicanos) formed a highly cohesive group
that required considerable conformity to group norms; policy was
implemented by a leadership capable of relating well to all ethnic groups.
Whites formed a disorganized and fragmented group, led by individuals who
engaged in racially antagonistic behavior. The highly cohesive black group
and their leadership were simultaneously in the forefront of both racial
cooperation and racial conflict.