Discrimination has often been used simultaneously with racism in certain discussions. Discrimination is the selective negative treatment of an individual based on the individual’s race, religion, creed or class. There are various forms of discrimination based on race, the first one being aversive racism. This is form of racism is as interesting as it is subtle. Various studies indicate that many public individuals who denounce racism in public before the masses tend to practice it in its most subtle forms unconsciously. Various studies also indicate that people labeling themselves as liberals are not necessarily more likely to perform less acts of subtle racism as compared to conservatives.
A prejudice is a conclusion about someone or something reached without having sufficient information. There are various forms of prejudice that exist, each distinct in its application of assumptions. The first type of prejudice is ambivalent prejudice. This type of prejudice is manifested in an individual who genuinely believes in qualities like equality for all and other such egalitarian beliefs, but still holds the opinion that different social and ethnic groups will inevitably have both positive and negative characteristics. Such an individual will therefore vouch for policies like social welfare while still believing that members of minority groups are inherently lazy. Individuals with ambivalent prejudice tend to have a reactionary mechanism called response amplification – the individual will react more intensely than the average person to situations involving members of an out-group who act in a manner inconsistent with the individual’s prejudiced opinions. For example, if a white person who believes in equality for all is conned by a black person, he or she may react more intensely to this act than the average person.
The second type of prejudice is envious prejudice. This type of prejudice involves the disparaging and denigration of certain social groups but only because the particular individual is inherently envious of the particular social group. There is an element of admiration of the particular out-group by the individual. For instance a person may feel admiration along with envy for Jews who are known for they entrepreneurial expertise. A person may also feel envy coupled with admiration for working class women who are able to balance family and career demands. The third type of prejudice is contemptuous prejudice; this type of prejudice consists of primarily negative views towards a particular social group by an individual. This may involve, for instance, a person who dislikes door-to-door salespersons or an individual who is deeply resentful of members of a different race or religion. Sexual prejudice involves all manifest forms of discrimination towards members of an out-group based purely on their sexual orientation.
There is also the need to look further than the causes of stereotyping and into its effects in order to understand the processes of our thought, of stereotyping.
Write a 500-750 word essay that examines your own experiences with discrimination, prejudice, racism, institutional racism, and stereotyping either as a child, teen, or adult.
Essed (1988) found that white stereotyping of black people had a damaging effect in job interviews, through discomfort and unrest due to the questions asked during the interview.
Brown's (1995) definition of stereotyping through prejudice is the 'holding of derogatory social attitudes or cognitive beliefs, the expression of , or the display of hostile or discriminatory behaviour towards members of a group on account of their membership to that group'.
It is these ideas that the essay aims to evaluate, through the cognitive process of categorisation and the above definitions that bring about three distinct features of stereotyping, that our cognition can be demonstrated through.
Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination are all forms of bias that are responsible for the simplest and even ‘harmless’ societal acts of favoring a neighbor of one’s own race, class, creed or sex by inviting them over for dinner over another neighbor of a different race, class, creed or sex, to the most egregious crimes that humanity has ever witnessed like the holocaust that occurred during the Second World War.
As will be shown in this paper, there are various theories that explain these discriminative acts. The theories include social justification theory, ethnocentrism, social dominance theory, and system justification theory.
This paper will discuss these three concepts separately and their various sub-forms, and will conclude with a proposition concept that will offer a means of overcoming the aforementioned forms of biasness – stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination.
Stereotyping or a stereotype is an assumption or a conclusion reached by an individual concerning another individual or individuals or group of persons without the benefit of properly acquainting oneself with wholesome knowledge about the particular individual(s) or group of persons. Stereotyping arises out of an individual’s strong attachment to his or her in-group – the social group, for example family, or close friends towards whom an individual feels the highest attachment. An individual’s in-group makes the person feel secure and satisfies the individual’s need for belonging. An out-group on the other hand is a social group towards which an individual feels a sense of dislike and the individual views the group with contempt. Therefore, stereotypes serve to reinforce an individual’s unqualified opinion of another individual or group. Another concept that is significant in the understanding of stereotypes is the concept of illusionary correlation. This is the instance of an individual seeing a certain relationship between sets of information or groups even where none is present. A person may for example associate a group of people, for example, Latinos with certain characteristics like laziness even when these characteristics are non-existent.