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Understanding On Prejudice And Discrimination Targets

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Throughout the evolution of time and history it has been obvious the conflicts that have been formed by certain beings beliefs that not only discriminate others but are racist and also prejudice. They have been able to cause such mass division between races and ethnicities when at the end of it all; us individuals are skin and bones. To understand the most common form of prejudice, being racism, and to be able to comprehend why people act in such ways whether it is taught or not we need to examine and understand closely on the nature of beings and why exactly they choose to be and act in such a degrading way after many years of dealing with this issue. Throughout this research, from a social psychology’s student point of view, we will be able to analyze and understand what are the common stereotype prejudice and targets, why prejudice exists, the inner processing, how to overcome these stereotypes and reducing prejudice, and finally the impact that such actions have on the people that are specifically targeted.

Prejudice is a word obtained from the Latin term for prejudging; signifying the evaluation one does on a person based on a group or category they are placed in. Prejudice is an action that involves the differences towards being and the judgment between them without knowing the individual in a personal connection, relationship or understanding that they are as a person and what makes them their own way. Understanding the ABC’s of the intergroup relationship, which focus on the Affect, Behavior, and Cognition of prejudice.

Being prejudice is also amongst different groups of people including race, gender, physical appearance, and even the clothes that one wears. We also have racial prejudice also known as racism that has caused an enormous problem in society especially those with white Americans against African Americans. In our text, we learn that aversive racism is holding a negative ill feeling towards a person of other races yet still believe in racial equality and opportunities. They find themselves feeling uncomfortable when surrounded by others of different races leading to discrimination. Discrimination is easily described as an unequal treatment on individuals based on what groups or categories they belong in. An example of discrimination is if a white student sees two of his classmates, one being black and one being white, and he chooses to sit next to the white kid. The student preferred sitting with someone who is considered to be in the same racial group as him.

Discrimination is an ongoing matter that has many informational articles written about it and showing how even in this new generation it still occurs especially among athletes. In a well know writing called, Journal of Political Economy by Szymanski, he focused on the main following points of the ongoing issue.

  • Syzmanski focused on how many major league teams were discriminating by race because they would hire black players but many other teams did not do so.
  • There was also a tremendous salary gap between white players and black players.
  • The final result was that black players did not get the same pay and salary as white players regardless if they were even better players or not.
  • When the researcher, Syzmanski, was conducting his research he realized that when a team had more black players they had a higher probability of winning a game yet they were making the same amount of money, showing that many teams did not focus on the players capability but rather than race.
  • A team with all white players had to pay 5% more overall in player salaries to be able to achieve the same win – loss records as a team that did only have black players. He was even able to provide evidence that it did not matter that a team with higher payroll plays better because it was not the same quality as the black players.
  • The conclusion was that the only time they could get paid more was when a team would offer a higher paying contract for his services. Even then their statement showed that other teams were still choosing white players over black plays.

His research is able to pinpoint the division that prejudice and discrimination does between races.

As we continue, we may ask ourselves from time to time why exactly is it that prejudice exists? According to psychologist, Gordon Allport, he explains in his book, “The Nature of Prejudice.” That the moment prejudice is developed it is inevitable to avoid it. It is the normal way of human thinking. For a long time we have learned to mentally categorize things which leads to prejudice which can result it being a “mental mistake.” Thus us creating opinions that hurt others and are viewed from a prejudice or discrimination point of view. Being prejudice is something that throughout our adolescence it is taught but our socializing agents that include both our parents and the media. From an early age, we are taught what to dislike and reject because that is what society wants us to believe. Stereotypes are created. From the early stages in life we start to crave acceptance into our own social groups and that is when children start learning to reject others who is distinct in their own way, they view them as enemies. At the end of it all, the categorization of stereotyping and being prejudice towards one another is something that is constantly taught through socialization.

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In Henri Tajfel book, European Journal of Social Psychology, he led a research team to conduct a study that would

  • Begin with a group of people that did not have any sort of significance for one another
  • They primarily focused on the groups that did not mean anything to each other that they would not show any type of favoritism, then slowly start adding individuals that shared similar traits to one another or had a common goal to see when the favoritism flared. This is considered to be in-group favoritism.
  • At the ending, the plan did not go as planned because they were unable to even form a group. Each of the groups did not even consider trying to form a conversation they just stayed separated.

This experiment can suggest that people are already programmed to divide themselves into the groups they consider themselves to be part of. It just goes to prove that prejudice and discrimination is something that naturally flows through people. Stereotypes are learned but to continue stereotyping people is something that stays within and many do not see past it. From schools, family members, and even the friends we have different sorts of cultures have shaped us into dividing each other from one another but at the same time it can teach everyone to not be prejudice. In today’s modern society many people still see same sex marriage as a Taboo but it is something that is socially accepted since it has been legalized, the acceptance of same sex marriage has even progressed in different sorts of countries around the world, Netherlands was the first country to legalize same – sex marriage in 2000, followed by Belgium in 2003, and Canada and Spain in 2005, followed by plentiful of other countries. This is able to prove that although there are many stereotypes that can be created towards something it does not mean it does not have the ability to change many peoples point of views who may have once been against it into being more accepting as new generations are evolving and are more open to many new things that may have been considered taboo or absurd in previous generations. It is about learning to have an open eye even if you do not practice or believe in the same things as another person may.

Furthermore, one of the contributions to prejudice and stereotyping is our inner emotions and how exactly we process thing. We can create and form stereotypes on salience, salience being stating the “obviousness.” It just goes onto show how it is something that we mentally create in our head; it is cognitive processing without any type of motivation or influence towards it. They are mental mistakes, we constantly depend try placing people and objects into all sorts of categories to make the world an easier place to understand. In an article, Current Directions in Psychological Science, a person who is prejudice is someone who is not comfortable with ambiguity and makes all sorts of generalizations about individuals who they consider to be different from them.

Prejudice is based on the theory that many also do not know the background of a human which leads to the majority of the time having false assumptions. People base their opinions on the expectations on people from different sorts of backgrounds and when finding out the truth they have biased impressions on the person. It just goes onto showing prejudice is a mental mechanism that is taught but slowly develops from what we go learning throughout life and how it is something that is constantly being fed into and not acknowledging it is the incorrect thing to do. One should rather analyze all sorts of situations and people to finally be able to conclude and not be biased and have confirmation bias, where a person focuses more on the evidence that is provided and supports their opinion rather than feeling and seeming contradicting.

As we know understand more on how prejudice is developed and learned, the main focus is understanding how to overcome it and we can focus on two theories. The first being, having morals and knowing that equality is an essential belief, and the second being, that prejudice increases elicit social disapproval. Those who try to look past being prejudice tend to have non-prejudiced reactions to other sorts of groups and this cognitive way of thinking overcomes the power of prejudice and allows them to not have an unwanted biased response.

All in all, with the reduction of prejudice one is able to conclude that when a person is not prejudice they are able to see every person’s point of view and analyze the situation to have an accurate opinion if that is what it can be considered. Although many social psychologists consider themselves to be against prejudice, there have been declarations that they are biased towards political conservatives. They consider social psychologist to be liberal bias as to that they are open to all things but not fully understanding where others come from. This just goes to prove that even though someone may not be prejudice there are still others out there who try and categorize people and in this case events. It is a mechanism that throughout time has developed and led to this lifestyle the majority of the world does.

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Understanding On Prejudice And Discrimination Targets. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/understanding-on-prejudice-and-discrimination-targets/
“Understanding On Prejudice And Discrimination Targets.” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/understanding-on-prejudice-and-discrimination-targets/
Understanding On Prejudice And Discrimination Targets. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/understanding-on-prejudice-and-discrimination-targets/> [Accessed 2 Oct. 2022].
Understanding On Prejudice And Discrimination Targets [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2022 Oct 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/understanding-on-prejudice-and-discrimination-targets/
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