This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Discrimination, Prejudice and Stereotype
PREPARED TO: PM DR. AZIZI YAHAYA PREPARED BY: NOR ANISA BT MUSA (MP071201) DATE: 26TH March 2009
Content: 1. Discrimination 2. Prejudice 3. Stereotype 4. Summary Reference ………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………. ………………………………………………………. 1 7 14 19 20
Discrimination, Prejudice and Stereotype 1. Discrimination Discrimination toward or against a person or group is the treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit. It is usually associated with prejudice. It can be behavior promoting a certain group (e.g. affirmative action), or it can be negative behavior directed against a certain group (e.g. redlining). Discrimination is a behavior (an action), particularly with reference to unequal treatment of people because they are of a particular group whether it be racial, ethnic, religious, or gender. 1.2 Personal / Individual Discrimination Farley (2000:16) contends that individual discrimination can refer to any act that leads to the unequal treatment because of race or ethnicity that is directed at a specific individual. Examples:
• • •
a home owner refusing to sell to a Jew a taxi driver refusing to pick up African American fares an employer paying Chicano workers a lower wage than white workers.
1.3 Legal Robertson (1989:204) contends that legal discrimination is "unequal treatment, on the grounds of group membership, that is upheld by law." 1.4 Institutional Discrimination Deliberate racial discrimination in virtually every form has been illegal for years. None-the-less discrimination is still prevalent in our society. within institutions in society. Discrimination can occur
Institutional discrimination is unequal treatment that is entrenched in basic social institutions. It refers to those practices in social institutions that favor one group over another. Examples of Institutional Discrimination 1.4.1 Deliberate Institutional Discrimination Institutional discrimination can be legal and deliberate like the legally required school segregation that existed in the South prior to the 1960s. 1.4.2 Unintentional Institutional Discrimination Some times institutional discrimination develops without any conscious racist intent. An example would be today's high cost of college tuition. Since people of color are typically poorer than whites, high tuition costs are institutionally discriminatory toward people of color (Farley, 2000:16). Legal discrimination is, after all, illegal. Presumably, if one can document legal discrimination, one can remove such discrimination through the courts or legislatures. Institutional discrimination, on the other hand, is much more insidious and, therefore, more difficult to rectify. Institutional discrimination resides within the fabric of society. Harrington (1984) poetically called institutional discrimination "structures of misery." Eitzen and Baca-Zinn (1994:174) describe institutional discrimination as "the customary ways of doing things, prevailing attitudes and expectations, and accepted structural arrangements [that] works to the disadvantage [of the poor]." Institutional discrimination explains much inequality in gender (and race and ethnicity) found in the workplace. 1.5 Direct vs. subtle Unlawful discrimination will can be characterized as direct or subtle. Direct discrimination involves treating someone less favorably because of their possession of an attribute (e.g., sex, age, race, religion, family status, national origin, military status, sexual 3
orientation, disability, body size/shape), compared with someone without that attribute in the same circumstances. Subtle discrimination involves setting a condition or requirement which a smaller proportion of those with the attribute are able to comply with, without reasonable justification. The U.S. case of Griggs v. Duke Power Company provides an example of indirect discrimination, where an aptitude test used in job applications was found "to disqualify Negroes at a substantially higher rate than white applicants". Kirton (2004) 1.6 Racial discrimination Though the term racism usually denotes race-based prejudice, violence, discrimination, or oppression, the term can also have varying and hotly contested definitions. Racialism is a related term, sometimes intended to avoid these negative meanings. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, racism is a belief or ideology that all members of each racial group possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially to distinguish it as being either superior or inferior to another racial group or racial groups. The Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines racism as a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular racial group, and that it is also the prejudice based on such a belief. The Macquarie Dictionary defines racism as: "the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others." Racial discrimination is treating people differently through a process of social division into categories not necessarily related to race. Racial segregation policies may officialize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalized. Researchers, including Dean Karlan and Marianne Bertrand, at the MIT and the University of Chicago found in a 2003 study that there was widespread discrimination in the workplace against job applicants whose names were merely perceived as "sounding black". These applicants were 50% less likely than candidates perceived as having "white-sounding names" to receive callbacks for interviews. The researchers view these results as strong evidence of unconscious biases rooted in the United States' long history of discrimination (i.e. Jim Crow laws, etc.) 1.7 Age discrimination 4
Age discrimination is or group on the grounds of age. Although theoretically the word can refer to the discrimination against any age group, age discrimination usually comes in one of three forms: discrimination against youth (also called adultism), discrimination against those 40 years old or older, and discrimination against elderly people. In the United States, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination nationwide based on age with respect to employees 40 years of age or older. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act also addresses the difficulty older workers face in obtaining new employment after being displaced from their jobs, arbitrary age limits. In many countries, companies more or less openly refuse to hire people above a certain age despite the increasing lifespans and average age of the population. The reasons for this range from vague feelings that younger people are more "dynamic" and create a positive image for the company, to more concrete concerns about regulations granting older employees higher salaries or other benefits without these expenses being fully justified by an older employees' greater experience. Some people consider that teenagers and youth (around 15-25 years old) are victims of adultism, age discrimination framed as a paternalistic form of protection. In seeking social justice, they feel that it is necessary to remove the use of a false moral agenda in order to achieve agency and empowerment. This perspective is based on the grounds that youth should be treated more respectfully by adults and not as second-class citizens. Some suggest that social stratification in age groups causes outsiders to incorrectly stereotype and generalize the group, for instance that all adolescents are equally immature, violent or rebellious, listen to rock tunes, and do drugs. Some have organized groups against age discrimination.
Ageism is the causal effect of a continuum of fears related to age. This continuum includes:
Pediaphobia: the fear of infants or small children. 5
Ephebiphobia: the fear of youth. Gerontophobia: the fear of elderly people.
Related terms include:
Adultism: Also called adultarchy, adult privilege, and adultcentrism/adultocentrism, this is the wielding of authority over young people and the preference of adults before children and youth.
Jeunism: Also called "youthism" is the holding of beliefs or actions taken that preference 'younger' people before adults.
1.8 Gender discrimination Though gender discrimination and sexism refers to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal consequences. Sex discrimination, on the other hand, may have legal consequences. Though what constitutes sex discrimination varies between countries, the essence is that it is an adverse action taken by one person against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. Discrimination of that nature in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries. Currently, discrimination based on sex is defined as adverse action against another person, that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. This is considered a form of prejudice and is illegal in certain enumerated circumstances in most countries. Sexual discrimination can arise in different contexts. For instance an employee may be discriminated against by being asked discriminatory questions during a job interview, or because an employer did not hire, promote or wrongfully terminated an employee based on his or her gender, or employers pay unequally based on gender. In an educational setting there could be claims that a student was excluded from an educational institution, program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship due to his or her gender. In the housing setting there could be claims that a person was refused negotiations on seeking a house, contracting/leasing a house or getting a loan based on his 6
or her gender. Another setting where there have been claims of gender discrimination is banking; for example if one is refused credit or is offered unequal loan terms based on one’s gender. (Wilson, 2003). Another setting where there is usually gender discrimination is when one is refused to extend his or her credit, refused approval of credit/loan process, and if there is a burden of unequal loan terms based on one’s gender. Socially, sexual differences have been used to justify different roles for men and women, in some cases giving rise to claims of primary and secondary roles (Ridley, 2008). While there are alleged non-physical differences between men and women, major reviews of the academic literature on gender difference find only a tiny minority of characteristics where there are consistent psychological differences between men and women, and these relate directly to experiences grounded in biological difference (Hyde, 2005). Unfair discrimination usually follows the gender stereotyping held by a society. Transgender individuals, both male to female and female to male, often experience problems which often lead to dismissals, underachievement, difficulty in finding a job, social isolation, and, occasionally, violent attacks against them. 1.9 Disability discrimination People with disabilities face discrimination in all levels of society. The attitude that disabled individuals are inferior to non-disabled individuals is called "ableism". Disabled people may also face discrimination by employers. They may find problems with securing employment as their handicap can be seen as a risk to the company, and once in employment they may find they are overlooked for promotion opportunities. Similarly, if an employee becomes disabled while employed they may also find themselves being managed out the company by HR departments.
Unsympathetic employers can make life very difficult for such employees and can often make their health problems worse. Disability discrimination laws mean that in theory the employee has a method of redress in such instances. Almost every person with a syndrome is discriminated against. They may not be able to join organizations, and they may even be neglected by schools and other public utilities. 2. Prejudice The word prejudice refers to prejudgment: making a decision about before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event. The word has commonly been used in certain restricted contexts, in the expression 'racial prejudice'. Initially this is referred to making a judgment about a person based on their race, religion, class, etc., before receiving information relevant to the particular issue on which a judgment was being made; it came, however, to be widely used to refer to any hostile attitude towards people based on their race or even by just judging someone without even knowing them. Subsequently the word has come to be widely so interpreted in this way in contexts other than those relating to race. The meaning now is frequently "any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence." Race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and religion have a history of inciting prejudicial behaviour (Rosnow et al., 1972). Prejudice refers to a positive or a negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. The root word of prejudice is "prejudge." It is "a set of attitudes which causes, supports, or justifies discrimination. Prejudice refers to a tendency to "over categorize." Prejudiced people respond to others in a more or less fixed way (Farley, 2000:18). 2.1 Forms of Prejudice Farley (2000:18-19) calls attention to three kinds of prejudice. 2.1.1 Cognitive Prejudice
Cognitive prejudice refers to what people believe is true
Affective prejudice points to peoples likes and dislikes 2.1.3 Conative Prejudice Conative prejudice refers to how people are inclined to behave. Note that this is still an attitude because people don't actually act on their feelings. An example of conative prejudice might be found in the statement "If I were in charge I'd send all the Wallonians back to where ever they came from." While these three types of prejudice are correlated, they don't have to all be present in a particular individual. Someone, for example, might believe a particular group possesses low levels of intelligence, but harbor no ill feelings toward that group. On the other hand, one might not like a group because of intense competition for jobs, but still recognize no inherent differences between groups. 2.2 Social Learning and Conformity as a Cause of Prejudice The above discussion of prejudice is rather psychological. There is also the social context to consider when one attempts to understand prejudice. Social scientists who study social learning and conformity as causes of prejudice focus on the social environment within which people live. The social environment is important. One should note, adoption of prejudiced attitudes can occur throughout the life-cycle. People learn to be prejudice through socialization processes like internalization, modeling, and reward and punishment. A. Agents of Socialization Values are internalized as people encounter various agents of socialization. Attitudes and behaviors are learned within a social context where agents of socialization are important (Farley, 2000:29-32).
1. The Family The family is probably the most important of the agents of socialization. Family is responsible for, among other things, determining one's attitudes toward religion and establishing career goals. 2. The School This agency is responsible for socializing groups of young people in particular skills and values in our society. 3. Peer Groups Peers refer to people who are roughly the same age and/or who share other social characteristics (e.g., students in a college class). 4. Work 5. The State 6. Media The effect on prejudice of television and the movies is substantial. The media's
portrayal of racial and ethnic groups may be a person's principal source of information. Therefore, if the media communicates primarily in stereotypes and the viewer has little opportunity for personal contact with members of that minority, the probability of the stereotype becoming the reality to the viewer is high. Hollywood movies have thoroughly dehumanized the nonwhite world. The whites, who are the exploiters, consistently show up as the "good guys." Whites are portrayed as the bearers of civilization and all that is just and humane. Their superiority is taken as the natural order of things, and their "justified" extermination of the nonwhites provides a "happy" ending (Kitano, 1985:52). B. Selective Exposure and Modeling Farley (2000:29) notes that "if a child is exposed to one set of values over time, the child will eventually come to view that set of vales as the "natural way". This is especially 10
true when the models are someone whom the child is especially close to like parents or close relatives. C. Reward and Punishment All agents of socialization reward behavior and expression of attitude that conform to their norms and punish those that do not. These rewards and punishments are sometime very formal. Other types of rewards and sanctions are informal and imprompt (Farley, 2000:29). 2.3 Personality Theory Versus Social Learning Theory There is complex interaction between these two and it is often difficult to sort out the differences between the two. 2.4 Socioeconomic Status and Prejudice Farley (2000:33-36) contends that there is a relatively strong relationship between ones social class and the level of prejudice. Higher levels of prejudice are seen in people of lower SES. There are a couple of logical explanations for this. 2.5 What is Socioeconomic Status (SES)? Farley (2005:32) notes that nearly all societies tend to group themselves by socioeconomic status. SES is a concept which is rather complex. The average citizen may tend to group people according to simple criteria like income or wealth. SES is a more robust concept. Socioeconomic status (SES) calls attention the complex nature of social class. It is determined by an array of social and economic indicators. It is also subject to interpretation form various social perspectives. 2.5.1 Objective Measures There are objective measures of social class. Henslin (1999:253) suggests that researches can assign people to various social classes based objective criteria involving wealth, power, and prestige. Some objective indicators can include occupation, educational level, number of dependents, type of residence, infant mortality, and life expectancy rates. 11
2.5.2 Subjective Measures There are also subjective measures. Typically, determining class from a subjective point of view involves asking someone how they perceive their class position. 2.5.3 Reputational Measures Finally, class can be determined using the reputational method (Henslin, 1999:253). People identify an individual's social class based on their expert knowledge of their individual's circumstances. The reputational method is limited to smaller communities, where people are familiar with one another's reputation. People at each class level see class differently. They, there fore, carry around different personal pictures of society's classes. People see finer divisions at their own class level, but tend to lump together people who occupy other class levels. For example, People at the top see several divisions of people at the top while they see one large monolithic group of people at the bottom. On the other hand, people at the bottom see several distinctions of poor people, but only one group at the top -- the rich (Henslin, 1999:253). 2.6 Education and Prejudice Most research indicates that people with higher levels of education score lower on most measures of prejudice. One argument suggests that people with lower socio-economic (SES) backgrounds are more rigid thinkers. Farley (2000) argues that there is a relationship between prejudice and intolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. People of higher SES are often better educated and education is often seen as a way to breaking down oversimplified, stereotypical thinking. As we become better educated, we become better able to understand complex ideas and situations. (Farley, 2000:34). The apparent relationship between education and prejudice may also be due to other effects. Perhaps people with higher levels of education people simply know how to respond with politically correct answers regarding racial and ethnic issues, thus masking their true feelings (Farley, 2000:34).
2.7 More Observations on Prejudice Farley (2000:35) notes that our ability to handle complex thought is affected by other conditions besides educational levels. He notes that we tend to rely on stereotypes more when we are busy, overwhelmed, or even functioning at a non optimal time. 2.8 Status Insecurity and Prejudice Another explanation resides in the relationship between status insecurity and prejudice. If, in fact, a person who is more status insecure is prejudice one can easily see why people from lower SES positions are more prone to prejudice. 2.9 Lower SES and Prejudice Lower SES representatives of the dominate group are placed in more direct competition for resources with minorities. Lower SES members of majority groups experience a greater threat from minority competition. 2.10 How can we help our children learn to deal with prejudice? Sadly, over four decades after the civil rights movement of the 1960s, our children are growing up in a society in which prejudice and bigotry are still commonplace. Although laws have been implemented and many attitudes have changed, bigotry based on racial, ethnic, and religious grounds remains too much a part of the daily lives of children and families. Our children are growing up in a time when the racial and ethnic composition of our country is rapidly changing. In some areas of the nation, groups of people previously characterized as racial or ethnic minorities make up the majority of the population. Children are also being exposed to different cultures through the media. They are learning and forming opinions about people and events all over the country and the world. As a result, there is more of a need and opportunity to help children learn to understand and value diversity. Children's encounters with prejudice are not confined to ethnic and racial stereotypes and bias. Every day, children are exposed to the way some individuals are 13
valued more or less because of their gender or age. Young children may or may not be aware of the preferential treatment boys tend to receive from their teachers over girls. But they are very much aware that their feelings, opinions and beliefs receive less consideration because of their youth. As children approach adolescence, they also become increasingly aware of the more subtle prejudices and intolerances tied to differences in social class and religion. 2.11 The impact of prejudice on children It is critical that you help your child deal with diversity in a positive way. Prejudice is learned at a very young age from parents, other children and people and institutions outside of the family. By about 4 years of age, children are aware of differences among people, primarily in characteristics like appearance, language and names, but later they are aware of religious and cultural distinctions as well. To some extent, children begin to define and identify themselves through their understanding of these personal differences. This is normal. As youngsters try to make sense of these individual distinctions, they may hear and accept simplified stereotypes about others. When that happens, they not only develop distorted views of the youngsters and adults they encounter in daily life, but they may start to deny and overlook the common, universal human elements and traits that would bring people together. As a result, intolerance may develop where there should be friendship. 2.12 How schools can diffuse prejudice Schools should be a place where your child learns more than academic skills. They should also promote understanding and cooperation among people, not prejudice. Here are some questions to ask schoolteachers and administrators about your child's educational environment:
Do learning and problem-solving tasks emphasize cooperation and team play, while minimizing excessive competition? Children should not be placed in situations where differences in gender, race, ethnicity, economic status, and academic ability are stressed, or are even allowed to be expressed in a negative, divisive way. Rather, whether the academic skill being taught is math or spelling, or the activity is drama 14
or sports, part of each child's grade should be dependent on the achievement of the entire group. Team spirit can conquer feelings of difference and separateness that children experience among themselves.
Does the school have a curriculum that covers the different races, religions and cultures? Is your youngster continuously exposed to the achievements and contributions of all the cultures?
Does the school take advantage of ethnic holidays - Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo, Kwanzaa, etc.- for children to actively learn customs and traditions with which they may not be familiar?
Do teachers have open discussions in class about discrimination and negative feelings toward others? If an incident involving prejudice has occurred at school or in the community, is it used as a springboard to discuss these issues in a sensitive, nonpunitive, nonstigmatizing way that emphasizes the common human qualities of people? Published online: 6/07
Source: Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 (Copyright © 2003 American Academy of Pediatrics) 3. Stereotype A stereotype is a preconceived idea that attributes certain characteristics (in general) to all the members of class or set. The term is often used with a negative connotation when referring to an oversimplified, exaggerated, or demeaning assumption that a particular individual possesses the characteristics associated with the class due to his or her membership in it. Stereotypes can be used to deny individuals respect or legitimacy based on their membership in that group. Stereotypes often form the basis of prejudice and are usually employed to explain real or imaginary differences due to race, gender, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic class, disability, occupation, etc. A stereotype can be a conventional and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image based on the belief that there are attitudes, appearances, or behaviors shared by all members of a group. Stereotypes are forms of social consensus rather than individual judgments. Stereotypes are sometimes formed by a previous illusory 15
correlation, a false association between two variables that are loosely correlated if correlated at all. Stereotypes may be occasionally positive. 3.1 Causes Sociologists believe that mental categorizing is necessary and inescapable. One perspective on how to understand stereotyping process is through the categories or ingroups and outgroups. Ingroups are viewed as normal and superior, and are generally the group that one associates with or aspires to join. An outgroup is simply all the other groups. They are seen as lesser or inferior than the ingroups. A second perspective is that of automatic and implicit or subconscious and conscious. Automatic or subconscious stereotyping is that which everyone does without noticing. Automatic stereotyping is quickly preceded by an implicit or conscious check which permits time for any needed corrections. Automatic stereotyping is affected by implicit stereotyping because frequent conscious thoughts will quickly develop into subconscious stereotypes. A third method to categorizing stereotypes is general types and sub-types. Stereotypes consist of hierarchical systems consisting of broad and specific groups being the general types and sub-types respectively. A general type could be defined as a broad stereotype typically known among many people and usually widely accepted, whereas the sub-group would be one of the several groups making up the general group. These would be more specific, and opinions of these groups would vary according to differing perspectives. One reason people stereotype is that it is too difficult to take in all of the complexities of other people. Even though stereotyping is inaccurate, it is efficient. Categorization is an essential human capability because it enables us to simplify, predict, and organize our world. Once one has sorted and organized everyone into tidy categories, there is every incentive to avoid processing new or unexpected information about each individual. Assigning general group characteristics to members of that group saves time and satisfies the need to predict the social world.
People also tend to stereotype because of another the need to feel good about oneself. Stereotypes protect one from anxiety and enhance self-esteem. By designating one’s own group as the standard or normal group and assigning others to groups considered inferior or abnormal, it provides one with a sense of worth. Many scientific theories have derived from the sociological studies of stereotyping and prejudicial thinking. During the early studies it was believed or suggested that stereotypes were only used by rigid, repressed, and authoritarian people. Sociologists concluded that this was a result of conflict, poor parenting, and inadequate mental and emotional development. They now know differently. Scientist and theorists have concluded that stereotypes do not only exist, but are actually a never ending chain of thoughts. Certain circumstances can affect the way an individual stereotypes. For instance: Studies have shown that women stereotype more negatively than men, and that women read into appearance more than men. Some theorists argue in favor of the conceptual connection and that one’s own subjective thought about someone is sufficient information to make assumptions about that individual. Other theorists argue that at minimum there must be a casual connection between mental states and behavior to make assumptions or stereotypes. Thus results and opinions may vary according to circumstance and theory. Stereotyping is principally theory and is not based much on factual evidence. An example of a common, incorrect assumption is that of assuming certain internal characteristics based on external appearance. The explanation for one’s actions is his or her internal state (goals, feeling, personality, traits, motives, values, and impulses), not his or her appearance. Sociologist Charles E. Hurst of the College of Wooster states that, “One reason for stereotypes is the lack of personal, concrete familiarity that individuals have with persons in other racial or ethnic groups. Lack of familiarity encourages the lumping together of unknown individuals” (Hurst, 2007). Different disciplines give different accounts of how stereotypes develop: Psychologists focus on how experience with groups, patterns of communication about the groups, and intergroup conflict. Sociologists focus on the relations among groups and position of different groups in a social structure. Psychoanalytically-oriented humanists have argued (e.g., Sander Gilman) that stereotypes, by definition, the representations are not accurate, but a projection of one to another.
Stereotypes are not accurate representations of groups, rather they arise as a means of explaining and justifying differences between groups, or system justification. Social status or group position determines stereotype content, not the actual personal characteristics of group members (Jost et al., 1994). Groups which enjoy fewer social and economic advantages will be stereotyped in a way which helps explain and justify disparities, such as lower employment rates. Although disadvantaged group members may have greater difficulty finding employment due to in-group favoritism, racism, and related social forces, the disadvantaged group member is unjustifiably characterized as 'unmotivated' (he could find a job if he looked hard enough), 'unintelligent' (he's not smart enough to have that job), and 'lazy' (he would rather take hand-outs than work). Stereotypes focus upon and thereby exaggerate differences between groups. Competition between groups minimizes similarities and magnifies differences (Brewer, 1979). This makes it seem as if groups are very different when in fact they may be more alike than different. For example, among African Americans, identity as an American citizen is more salient than racial background; that is, African Americans are more American than African (McAndrew et al., 1995). Yet within American culture, Black and White Americans are increasingly seen as completely different groups. 3.2 Effects, accuracy, terminology Stereotypes can have a negative and positive impact on individuals. Joshua Aronson and Claude M. Steele have done research on the psychological effects of stereotyping, particularly its effect on African-Americans and women (Steele et al. 1995). They argue that psychological research has shown that competence is highly responsive to situation and interactions with others. They cite, for example, a study which found that bogus feedback to college students dramatically affected their IQ test performance, and another in which students were either praised as very smart, congratulated on their hard work, or told that they scored high. The group praised as smart performed significantly worse than the others. They believe that there is an 'innate ability bias'. These effects are not just limited to minority groups. Mathematically competent white males, mostly math and engineering students, were asked to take a difficult math test. One group was told that this was being done to determine why Asians were scoring better. This group performed significantly worse than the other group (Aronso et al., 2005). 18
3.2.1 Possible prejudicial effects of stereotypes are:
• • •
Justification of ill-founded prejudices or ignorance Unwillingness to rethink one's attitudes and behavior towards stereotyped group Preventing some people of stereotyped groups from entering or succeeding in activities or fields The effects of stereotyping can fluctuate, but for the most part they are negative,
and not always apparent until long periods of time have passed. Over time, some victims of negative stereotypes display self-fulfilling prophecy behavior, in which they assume that the stereotype represents norms to emulate. Negative effects may include forming inaccurate opinions of people, scapegoating, erroneously judgmentalism, preventing emotional identification, distress, and impaired performance. Stereotyping painfully reminds those being judged of how society views them. 3.2.2 Research
During the 1960’s, psychologist Irwin Katz suggested that stereotypes could influence performance on IQ tests. Katz found that Blacks were able to score better on an IQ subtest, if the test was presented as a test of eye-hand coordination. Blacks also scored 19
higher on an IQ test when they believed the test would be compared to that of other blacks. Katz concluded that his subjects were thoroughly aware of the judgment of intellectual inferiority held by many white Americans. With little expectation of overruling this judgment, their motivation was low, and so were their scores. The phenomenon was later examined by the social psychologists Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson, who articulated the mechanism of "stereotype threat" that contributes to test performance of minority groups. In one such study, Steele and Aronson (1995) administered the Graduate Record Examination to European American and African American students. Half of each group was told that their intelligence was being measured, while the other half didn't know what the test was measuring. The European American students performed almost equally in the two conditions of the experiment. African Americans, in contrast, performed far worse than they otherwise would have when they were told their intelligence was being measured. The researchers concluded this was because stereotype threat made the students anxious about confirming the stereotype regarding African American IQ. The researchers found that the difference was even more noticeable when race was emphasized. "When capable black college students fail to perform as well as their white counterparts, the explanation often has less to do with preparation or ability than with the threat of stereotypes about their capacity to succeed."
- Claude M. Steele, The Atlantic Monthly, August 1999 Thin Ice: Stereotype Threat and Black College Students 4. Summary Children can suffer from a climate of prejudice. Prejudice creates social and emotional tension and can lead to fear and anxiety and occasionally hostility and violence. Prejudice and discrimination can undermine the self-esteem and self-confidence of those being ridiculed and make them feel terrible, unaccepted and unworthy. When that happens, their school performance often suffers, they may become depressed and socially withdrawn and childhood can become a much less happy time.
Schools should be a place where your child learns more than academic skills. They should also promote understanding and cooperation among people, not prejudice. Sometimes "stereotype" and "prejudice" are confused. Stereotypes are standardized and simplified conceptions of groups, based on some prior assumptions. Stereotypes are created based on some idea of abstract familiarity. Prejudices are more specific - they are predispositions to differential behavior patterns. Childhood influences are some of the most complex and influential factors in developing stereotypes. Though they can be absorbed at any age, stereotypes are usually acquired in early childhood under the influence of parents, teachers, peers, and the media. Once a stereotype is learned, it often becomes self-perpetuating. Reference: Aronson J, Steele CM. (2005). Chapter 24:Stereotypes and the Fragility of Academic Competence, Motivation, and Self-Concept. In Handbook of Competence, [ p. 436]. Brewer, M (1979). "In-group bias in the minimal intergroup situation: A cognitivemotivational 2909.86.2.307 Eitzen, D. Stanley and Maxine Baca-Zinn 1994 Social Problems. (6rd Ed.) Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Harrington, Michael 1984 The New American Poverty. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Hurst, Charles E. Social Inequality: Forms, Causes, and Consequences. 6. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc, 2007 Hyde, J. S. (2005) “The Gender Similarities Hypothesis”, American Psychologist, 60(6): 581 592. Jost, JT; Banaji, MB (1994). "The role of stereotyping in system-justification and the production of false consciousness". British Journal of Social Psychology 33: 1–27. 21 analysis". Psychological Bulletin 86: 307–324. doi:10.1037/0033-
Kirton, G. & Green. A. (2004) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity, ButterworthHeinemann (2nd Edition). McAndrew, FT; Akande, A (1995). "African perceptions of Americans of African and European descent". Journal of Social Psychology 135 (5): 649–655. Rosnow, Ralph L.; Poultry and Prejudice. Psychologist Today, (March, 1972): p. 53. Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2008) "Gendering, Courtship and Pay Equity: Developing Attraction Theory to Understand Work-Life Balance and Entrepreneurial Behaviour", paper to the 31st ISBE Conference, 5th-7th November, Belfast Robertson, Ian 1989 Society: A Brief Introduction. New York: Worth Publishing. Sendhil Mullainathan and Marianne Bertrand (2003). "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination", NBER Working Paper No. 9873, July, 2003). Steele CM, Aronson J (November 1995). "Stereotype threat and the intellectual test performance of African Americans". J Pers Soc Psychol 69 (5): 797–811. PMID 7473032. http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/69/5/797. Wilson, F. (2003) Organizational Behaviour and Gender (2nd Edition), Aldershot: Ashgate. http://www.finduslaw.com/age_discrimination_in_employment_act_of_1967_adea_29_u_s _code_chapter_14