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Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination

Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination

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Published by: ChitraThapa on Jul 18, 2011
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Theories of Prejudice and Discrimination

Unit 5 Social Inequalities

making them difficult to change even with evidence to the contrary When there are people who don¶t fit the stereotype it is easier to explain them out of it than to reexamine your way of thinking . Racism & Discrimination  Prejudice: a widely held negative attitude toward a group (minority or majority) and its individual members It¶s a generalization based on biased or insufficient information They are based on emotions.Prejudice.

Prejudice. Racism & Discrimination  Racism: an extreme form of prejudice that assumes superiority of one group over another Racism is extreme not only because it unfairly judges one group but b/c it assumes one group is superior to another Racists believe that discrimination is morally justified b/c of their superiority .

denying access to authority positions. blocking access to exclusive clubs. Racism & Discrimination   What is the difference between discrimination and prejudice? Prejudice is having biased opinions Discrimination is acting on those opinions by treating people unfairly Prejudice does not always lead to discrimination Forms of discrimination: Avoiding social contact. organizations or neighborhoods Extreme forms include attacking and killing .Prejudice.

Hate Crimes     Hate Crimes: A criminal act that is motivated by extreme prejudice Hate crimes involve bias related to race. sexual orientation. national origin or ancestry Although statistics on hate crimes are new. by 2000 43 states had passed hate crime laws Each of the sociological perspectives allows us to understand their explanation for hate crimes . the acts are not (The govt. didn¶t start keeping track until 1900) Because the number has been increasing. religion.

Stereotypes   Stereotypes: a set of ideas based on distortion. and oversimplification that is applied to all members of a group Stereotypes are sometimes created to justify unethical behavior against minority groups . exaggeration.

placing social stability at risk b/c violence sometimes erupts among the groups Functionalists recognize that by fostering prejudice. the functionalist focus on the dysfunction cause by these practices Exploiting or oppressing minorities causes high cost to the social institutions. the majority group is able to create a feeling of superiority over the minority group This strengthens the majority¶s self-concept .Functionalist Perspective    While studying prejudice and discrimination.

They struggle against each other for political power and resources .The Conflict Perspective   According to the conflict theorists the majority uses prejudice and discrimination as tools against the minorities The majority does this to increase their control of the means of production (property. resources) Under the conflict theory the different minority groups see themselves as competitors rather than allies in the struggle against the majority The conflict between African Americans and Latinos in urban areas has been increasing.

The Symbolic Interactionists   According to the symbolic interactionists. but they haven¶t learned to separate people by race or ethnic group Total Rejection Stage  Children are able to use physical clues to sort people into groups  If children hear their parent belittle a group the child will reject all members of that group . 1958) The Pregeneralized Learning Period  Children overhear their parents make racists or prejudiced remarks. members of society learn to be prejudice in the same way they learn other things (socialization) The Two Stages of Learning Prejudice (Allport.

The Symbolic Interactionists   Symbolic Interactionists point out that language itself can reflect prejudice Example: Think of all of the negative words and phrases that include the world ³black´ Symbolic Interactionism underlies the idea of the selffulfilling prophecy Self-fulfilling prophecy: the expectation that leads to behavior that causes the expectation to become a reality  If you are continually told you are smart and can do well. you are likely to do so  If minorities are consistently treated as if they are less competent than the majority they will eventually accept it .

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