Discrimination, Prejudice and Stereotype

Presented By: Nor Anisa Bt. Musa UTM, Skudai.

• 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 orientation, disability, body size/shape), compared with someone without that attribute in the same circumstances.

• Discrimination is a behavior (an action), with reference to unequal treatment of people because they are members of a particular group. • Farley also classified discrimination into three categories.

• Discrimination is the behavioural component or differential actions taken towards others • Prejudice is a negative attitude and behaviour, also unjustified behaviour • Attitudes and behaviour reflects our inner convictions • Racism and sexism are practices that discriminate.

Personal / Individual Discrimination
• Personal / Individual Discrimination is directed toward a specific individual and refers to any act that leads to unequal treatment because of the individual's real or perceived group membership.

Legal Discrimination
• Legal Discrimination refers to "unequal treatment, on the grounds of group membership, that is upheld by law." Apartheid is an example of legal discrimination. • Laws were passed not only to restrict the movement of blacks into these areas, but also to prohibit their movement from one district to another without a signed pass. Blacks were not allowed onto the streets of towns in the Cape Colony and Natal after dark and had to carry their passes at all times.

Institutional Discrimination
• Institutional Discrimination refers to unequal treatment that is entrenched in basic social institutions resulting in advantaging one group over another. The Indian caste system is a historical example of institutional discrimination.

Subtle discrimination
• 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"

Racial discrimination
• Racial discrimination differentiates between individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial differences, and has been official government policy in several countries, such as South Africa in the apartheid era, and the USA.

Racial discrimination
An African-American child at a segregated drinking fountain on a courthouse lawn, North Carolina, 1938.

Racial discrimination
• In the United States, racial profiling of minorities by law enforcement officials has been called racial discrimination. As early as 1865, the Civil Rights Act provided a remedy for intentional race discrimination in employment by private employers and state and local public employers.

• Gingerism is a form of discrimination which is sometimes considered to be racism.

Age discrimination
• 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.

Age discrimination
• 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

Sexual discrimination
• 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 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.

• 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.

Reverse discrimination
• Reverse discrimination is a common term used to describe policies or acts that discriminate in favor of a group historically discriminated against (e.g. women, blacks, Hispanics, the disabled, people over 40 years of age, etc). • Most academic and expert opponents of preferential policies that favor historicallydiscriminated groups, such as Carl Cohen, avoid the term "reverse discrimination" on the grounds that "discrimination is discrimination" and that the label "reverse" is a misnomer.

• 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.

Disability discrimination

Disability discrimination
• Almost every person with a syndrome is discriminated. They may not be able to join organizations, and they may even be neglected by schools and other public utilities.

• The word prejudice refers to prejudgment: making a decision about before becoming aware of the relevant facts of a case or event. • 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.

• Everyone comes face to face with prejudice at some time or another. • Prejudice is when we recognize that we feel and act less positively towards others. • The roots of prejudice can be found in the cognitive and emotional processes. • Prejudice may be perceived as acceptable and justified • All inequality and differential treatment is not perceived and responded to in the same way.

Threats to self-esteem
• Prejudice persist because disparaging others can protect our self-esteem. • Threats to our group’s interest can motivate prejudice and competition can escalate conflicts • Holding prejudiced views of an outgroup allows members to bolster their own group’s image.

Cognitive Prejudice
Bob Farley classified prejudice into three categories. • Cognitive Prejudice refers to what people believe is true. An example of cognitive prejudice might be found, for example, adherence to a particular metaphysical or methodological philosophy to the exclusion of other philosophies that may offer a more complete theoretical explanation.

Affective Prejudice
• Affective Prejudice refers to what people like and dislike . An example of affective prejudice might be found, for example, in attitudes toward members of particular classes such as race, ethnicity, national origin, or creed.

Conative Prejudice
• Conative Prejudice refers to how people are inclined to behave. • Conative prejudice is regarded as an attitude because people don't act on their feelings. An example of conative prejudice might be found in expressions of what should be done if the opportunity presented itself. • These three types of prejudice are correlated, but all need not be present in a particular individual. Someone might believe a particular group possesses low levels of intelligence, but harbor no ill feelings toward that group. A group might be disliked because of intense competition for jobs, but still recognize no differences between groups.

Arousal approach
• Following the psychodynamic perspective, some traditional psychologists described prejudice a result of frustration. • Psychodynamics theory assumed that human mind contains psychic energy, which serve as a tool for psychological activities and can only be discharged through cathartic – the completion of the activities – to maintain equilibrium; viewing art or listening to music may be cathartic experiences. (Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mowrer, & Sears, 1939).

Arousal approach
• Impediment of dissipation results in frustration, which can only be corrected through aggression. Prejudice is an occasion in which a group of people is frustrated by a stronger group which is too powerful or remote to be aggressed against, thus they displaced the aggressive behavior onto weaker groups, which serve as a scapegoat. For example, when a boy is scolded by his parent, he may choose to displace the frustration to his weaker sister since he is unable to fight back to his parent.

Personality approach
• Another classical explanation on prejudice concerns the personalities which create tendency on prejudice against minorities. Historically, psychologists suggested various personalities contributing to discrimination, including authoritarianism, dogmatism, closed-mindedness, dominant orientation, etc

Intergroup approach
• Some social psychologists explain prejudice as the effect of group interaction. • According to social identity theory, when we are identified with a group, we show some general characteristics including ethnocentrism, in group favoritism, inter group differentiation and so on, which contribute to prejudice.

Learning approach
• Modeling, which is also known as learning by vicarious experience in social learning theory (Bandura, 1973), refers to learning a behaviour through observing another individual engaging in that behavior. Since observation is already enough for learning the behaviour, the individual does not need to participate in the behaviour. According this theory, people can acquire prejudiced thinking by merely observing others' discriminative behaviour.

Learning approach
• For example, children may acquire a gender stereotype by observing their parents treating males and females differently. This effect would be especially amplified when the model is rewarded for the behaviour.

Learning approach
• People can also learn to prejudice through association learning including classical and operant conditioning. In classical conditioning, a subject is instructed with flawed reasoning when an attribute is presented (e.g. greedy) with a specific group (e.g. merchants) repeatedly. The subject then links the attribute to the group, resulting in prejudice. Operant conditioning refers to alteration of behaviour by regulating the consequences following it.

• Reinforcement in is a kind of consequence or a procedure that specifically leads to an increase in frequency of the behaviour immediately preceding it. If an individual gains acceptance to his/her reference group (Kelley, 1952) by discriminating towards other groups or individuals, he/she is then be motivated to continue this discrimination due to the reinforcement following it. • Although, empirical results often showed significant correlation between parents’ and child’s attitude, the correlations were typically low (Connel, 1972), especially after the child grew up. This suggests that learning theory can only explain part of the reason behind prejudice.

Learning approach

• Sociologists termed prejudice an adaptive behavior. Biased views might be thought needed at times for survival. There is not always enough time to form a legitimate view about a potential foe before adopting a defensive stance that could save lives. Prejudice is non-adaptive when it interferes with survival or well-being.

• 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.

Stereotyping: beliefs about social groups
• Stereotyping is the belief about social groups in terms of the traits or characteristics that they are deemed to share • Stereotypes are cognitive frameworks that influence the processes of social information

• Stereotypes are the cognitive component attitudes towards a social group. • To stereotypes is to generalize. • It is a belief about what a particular group is like • It is a belief about the personal attributes of a group of people. • It is sometimes over generalized, inaccurate and resistant to new information but can be more or less true.

• 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 correlation, a false association between two variables that are loosely correlated if correlated at all. • Stereotypes may be occasionally positive.


• Gender stereotypes concern the traits possessed by females and males that distinguish the two genders. • Women are perceived as high on warmth but low on competence • Woman are low in status • Men are perceived as decisive, assertive and accomplished but aggressive, insensitive and arrogant • Men are high status • Women are seen as less appropriate for high status positions • Women are more suitable for support roles.

Gender Stereotypes

• 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-types 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.

• 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.

• 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.

Stereotypes can have a negative and positive impact on individuals.

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 field

The effects of stereotyping:
• 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.

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.

• Japanese people are often represented as extremely polite, intelligent, and obedient but disliking of foreigners. They bow extensively and are very good business people. Their stop words are: "honourable", "regrettable" and "please“. Other Japanese stereotypes are the geisha, the sumo wrestler, the samurai, the martial arts expert. • Chinese people have often been portrayed in the media as rice eating, grinning people who have long queues, wear "douli" on their heads and walk around with their hands hidden in long robes.

• Indians and other South Asians are often depicted as shopkeepers, taxi drivers, supermarket store clerks, gurus, snake charmers etc. They are shown riding on elephants, worshiping cows, watching Bollywood movies, and eating hot spices and curry. • Arabs. Their noses, mustaches and beards are often exaggerated in caricature. Popular images are the Muslim flying on a carpet, climbing on an erect rope, riding a camel, drawing out daggers or sabres, ululating, or sitting in a tent smoking a water pipe. Arabic people are often depicted as rich oil sheiks with sunglasses and a turban.


• The English people are stereotyped as inordinately proper, imperialistic, phlegmatic, polite and sophisticated, yet obsessed with class and social status and curiously convinced of their own superiority. • Australian stereotypical are often represented as being unsophisticated and obsessed with beer and surfing, boomerangs and kangaroos. • Since World War I and World War II Germans are often depicted as evil, militaristic, racist, antisemitic and war mongering. They are often referred to as Nazis or obedient soldiers or officers.

The nature and origins of streotyping, prejudice and discrimination
• Prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination often overlap. • Prejudice is the feelings we have about particular groups. • Prejudice is a negative prejudgment of a group and its individual members. • Prejudice biases us against others based on the person’s group. • Prejudice is a combination of feelings, inclinations to act and beliefs. • Prejudice is complex and include a component of patronizing affection.

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