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Thesis (Bachelor's)

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/24437

  • The Sorting Hat Effect: How the Hogwarts Houses Influence Prejudice in Harry Potter
  • Bachelor's
  • Abstract is in Icelandic

    This essay explores the various prejudices shown in the Harry Potter book series by J.K. Rowling. Hogwarts is the only wizarding school in Great Britain and as every witch or wizard in Great Britain passes through the doors of the school, the school has an enormous influence on the magical community. At Hogwarts rivalry between the four houses is encouraged and the students are conditioned to look down on the students of the other houses and anything they associate with each house. Outside of Hogwarts, adults face a variety of prejudices. The most obvious is the discrimination based on blood-status, in which pure-bloods believe themselves superior to those with muggle blood. These ranks between wizards are not the only ranks in the societal hierarchy however. Human beings without magic, whether they are born in a magic family or not, are looked down for their lack of magic, but even non-human magical creatures are disliked. As such, it is clear that the wizarding society believes wizards to be superior to all other members of the society and that certain wizards are better than others. The overall argument of this essay is that the environment at Hogwarts influences these prejudices by separating the students into the four houses and encouraging rivalry between them, which conditions the students to discriminate against anyone who does not belong to their specific group. This house rivalry then evolves into a dislike based on blood status and a belief in the superiority of wizards as the students grow up in the hostile environment at the school. These prejudices are the leading cause of the two large wars fought in the wizarding world in the 20th century. As such, the cause of the hostility and discrimination in the wizarding society actually originates in the way Hogwarts is structured.

  • May 10, 2016
  • http://hdl.handle.net/1946/24437

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