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Essay on the Concept of Prejudice: Critical Analysis of Sources

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Prejudice has created a negative feature that possesses an adverse affect on many individuals. It is an obstruction of the mind set that has conducted a blindness of how we view the world we live in. Prejudice behavior is often linked to stereotyping individuals based on their characteristics, which many individuals have experienced. At one point or another, there are times we often engage in prejudice or participate in stereotyping individuals due to the way they are judged by people and groups. Individuals are often treated differently because they are discriminated against and the society we live in today makes it seem okay to participate in prejudice. In the book Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric, by Frank Boardman mentions “African Americans in particular have been the victims of prejudice in this country, flagrantly before the civil rights movement……….Racial slurs were masked in code phrases like “welfare mothers” or “crime in the streets” or “states’ rights.” Women and minorities are often victims and from this day the prejudice and stereotypes is still going on. We are often viewing prejudice and stereotyping people based on what we see on television. This is unacceptable and something has to be done to eliminate prejudice and stereotypes.

According to the book Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric, the meaning of prejudice “is thinking ill of others without sufficient warrant, particularly members of a specific group, race, or religion.” Prejudice connects with good reasoning due to the way we understand and reason our problems, including personal issues. In our generation today we have seen more prejudice take place due to the lack of reasoning. In order to avoid prejudice, we should think of our good reasoning and add it to our daily life. We should be able to determine how we can overcome this type of act while using good reasoning. If we were to use problem solving techniques to prevent prejudice from occurring we can create a better picture of what humanity is supposed to be. Individuals tend to have nasty beliefs of others due to the way they portray people. I have seen prejudice take place in the small city that I grew up and I also became a victim of this unlawful act. It taught me that people go a long way to show how unfaithful they can be. Prejudice lacks good reasoning because there are many individuals who have difficulty keeping things to themselves.

Every subject often has its cons and pros but I feel this topic is very important and I would wish that one day prejudice would vanish. In an article written by Dave T he mentions that “Prejudices are preconceived judgments—both positive and negative—made about a group (ethnic, religious, etc.) based on opinion, emotion, or supposed empirical evidence rather than fact.” There are times people use prejudice as a joke like “Asians are the smartest kids at school” or “Indians smell like curry.” These are forms of prejudice and they aren’t phrases that are appropriate to be said to anyone. I often feel that prejudice is a form of negative thinking. We often hear so much negativity through media and through our own experiences that prejudice has become a common thing in our country. I hear many stories throughout the week of individuals who have become victims of prejudice. Cons about prejudice can include negative emotions (hurting your feelings), individuals are often feeling guilty, profiling increases, and it can hold anyone from engaging in a relationship or friendship. Do we realize that our actions can actually cause harm or hatred to someone for no apparent reason, just because they look different from you. It is 2019 and people need to change their views and become a better person. Prejudice has affected so much people and people feel guilty for no reason. The world has lost most of its humanity and many people are to blame for. For example, there are many times that we want to become friends with but we second guess it and blame it on prejudice. We often think maybe our friendship will interfere with prejudice. I know this is true because I am always thinking about this. There was a time that I wanted to be friends with a girl from my group during my first year of college. She seemed very nice and energetic. I enjoyed the atmosphere that she would bring to the room so one day after class I told her that we would keep in touch. I asked for her phone number and she told me “I don’t hang out with people like you.” I felt so offended and I couldn’t believe this was happening. Just because of my appearance and my culture I was a victim of prejudice. Prejudice is a powerful act that has killed many individuals. There aren’t many pros of prejudice but one that seems to stick out is it can increase social interaction. It can help individuals regulate their behaviors and actions.

We are often faced with events that occur in an instant. We try to use our reasoning as good as we can but we fail. We often lack our problem solving skills and we end up being jeopardized. We trust ourselves to make decisions yet when the conclusion takes place it is not what we expect. There are times that we don’t want to hear others opinions, we value our own opinion so we use it. It turns out that getting an opinion from someone else can help. Many people use good reasoning as a source of figuring out how to reason their life. During our teen years we don’t really put our heads to something. We want a solution fast and we don’t think about the consequences. During our adult years this changes, we start making better decisions and choices.

According to Kendra Cherry, in an article titled Understanding Prejudice, she mentions how “Prejudice can have a strong influence on how people behave and interact with others, particularly with those who are different from them.” Prejudice has become a type of negative attitude that is presented when one views them as different. When we use good reasoning we use it as a source of power that creates positive views. While people use prejudice they often encounter the opposite. Cherry also mentions that “prejudice can be based on a number of factors including sex, race, age, sexual orientation, nationality, socioeconomic status, and religion.” One thing that I don’t understand is how people don’t keep their comments to themselves. Our world has become so evil that people just love to make fun of others. I do wish that we would all live in a peaceful world and we wouldn’t have to worry about anything negative in this world. Prejudice has caused many incidents from riots to deaths.

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People need to understand if their reasoning is even valid or correct before proceeding. Most people often assume that their information is correct and others should believe what is being said. We believe our reasoning is already justified and we immediately take action. Reasoning can be fallacious, because we don’t know all the information to draw a conclusion. Why should we judge people in anyway? People just want to fit in and try to fit the part. I am an American Citizen born and raised in California. I did have obstacles growing up because I “looked different” than other children. But I was proud of who I was and who I have become. I used my reasoning to create a better image of myself. I didn’t let others put me down because I won’t let others judgements affect me. I always use my reasoning to think of my actions before I participate in them because this can lead to either a serious problem or a major mistake.

In order to decrease the possibility of errors that occur we must acknowledge and respond to the errors when they occur. We should have a better sense of knowledge of what to expect when something is unexpected. We should learn from our mistakes and use that as a guide for our future. We don’t know when something unexpected happens, but if something does occur we should always be prepared and perform a fairly procedure that we would benefit from. Avoiding errors can be tricky but if we had a greater sense of what was to occur we would know what to expect.

In an article written by Olivia Goldhill, she states that “humans are born irrational, and that has made us better decision-makers.” We all seem to have that irrational mind at times, therefore we can benefit from this ability if we are capable of. Every human is different at making choices and we must be able to understand what we decide. There are times that we often trust our instincts and forget all about reasoning. Sometimes we don’t have the ability or time to decide on something quickly so we trust our gut. This can have its pros and cons but we are often faced with such a quick period of time that we are lost. According to Goldhill she also mentions “that being irrational is a good thing. We humans don’t always make decisions by carefully weighing up the facts, but we often make better decisions as a result.” Individuals usually base their decisions on experiences they once had. I agree with this point because I am the person who second guesses my choices all the time. For example, one time I was involved in two accidents. The first accident was a very scary experience because I never experienced a car accident in my life. One of the cars collided into my family car and it was a big mess. It was raining at the moment and everything seemed like a blur. The individual who hit our car was not responding so I was about to take him out of his position until someone screamed don’t move him. At times like this I don’t know how to think, I am just in shock. So, I leave the individual alone and we continue to wait about two minutes before the EMT comes. During the second accident I had more experience, so I knew what to do. I never knew that we couldn’t move the passenger out of the car unless it was a life threatening emergency. Using my reasoning I had a greater amount of information and was able to understand what to do the next time. We often base our decisions on something that would benefit ourselves and others.

We benefit from using our irrational reasoning because we can create a better response and avoid using prejudice. One should always listen to himself before he actually speaks his words. If this were the case, we wouldn’t have so much problems in the world. Prejudice is a powerful topic in our society and I feel that if more people were educated there wouldn’t be so many issues. Throughout the book Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric, there are many ways that good reasoning is used. We deal with these problems on a daily basis and tend to create a series of events afterwards. Our social and political environment also portrays these problems which many feel they are a victim of prejudice. I know many individuals who have participated in prejudice and once I saw how others judge each other I kept my distance and ended my friendship. How can we live in a world where all we do is judge people. People should mind their own business and not worry about others. If this was the case, there would be so much less drama and tragic events in the world. We are all one and we shouldn’t base any differences upon each other.

Humans participate in prejudice without even thinking. We judge people based on how they look, dress, or even their income. Some people think that they aren’t guilty of this, but in today’s society it has become very common. People are based on color, race, and culture. People always think “ are they wearing the new trend, do they eat organic?” We participate in prejudice even if we think we don’t. In a plane if you sit next to a Muslim, you second guess yourself. Or if you are in a grocery parking lot, and you see a homeless person you get scared and want to get in your car as soon as possible. We judge people without even thinking about it, we also think the worse and don’t seem to think twice if it is for good reasoning or if it’s just the way society makes us think.

Work Cited

  1. Boardman, Frank, et al. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: the Use of Reason in Everyday Life. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2014.
  2. Cherry, Kendra. “The Psychology Behind People’s Prejudices.” Verywell Mind, Dotdash, 3 Nov. 2018, www.verywellmind.com/what-is-prejudice-2795476.
  3. “Dave T’s Pros and Cons of Stuff Everyone Has: Prejudices.” Dave T’s Pros and Cons of Stuff Everyone Has: Prejudices | Big Wheel Biker Gang, www.bigwheelbikergang.com/dave/prejudice.
  4. Goldhill, Olivia. “Humans Are Born Irrational, and That Has Made Us Better Decision-Makers.” Quartz, Quartz, 31 May 2017, qz.com/922924/humans-werent-designed-to-be-rational-and-we-are-better-thinkers-for-it/.

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Essay on the Concept of Prejudice: Critical Analysis of Sources. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-the-concept-of-prejudice-critical-analysis-of-sources/
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Essay on the Concept of Prejudice: Critical Analysis of Sources [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/essay-on-the-concept-of-prejudice-critical-analysis-of-sources/
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