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The Nature of Prejudice and Discrimination

Updated November 17, 2021
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The Nature of Prejudice and Discrimination essay

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The movie Zootopia is about a city that is very diverse, where various animals live and thrive. When Judy Hopps becomes the first rabbit to join the police force, she realizes it much much harder to enforce the public laws, than signing them in a stage play at age of 9. The movie is very engaging and humorous in numerous ways, it also presents specific social issues that confront the perceptions and prejudices that follow along with size, race, and gender or the overall social and identity expectations in the city of Zootopia.

Prejudice, stereotyping, and discriminations are issues that have sparked heated debate among the general public in our world today. Specifically, there have been variations on what should be considered discriminatory, the types of conclusions on a given social policy that is based on prejudice, the role of partisanship in producing gender and racial disparities, and circumstances that are justifiable to base decisions on sex or race of an individual.

Additionally, there have been concerns about the approach the society should use to address these phenomena since there is a significant part of the public that believes these issues have been adequately resolved.  As a result, this paper seeks to explain how prejudice and stereotype arise in the minds of individuals as well as when and how they may influence our behaviour.

Moreover, it will be critical to evaluate the effects of these aspects on their target’s lives to identify the resilience and vulnerability that mediate the result that may emerge. Significantly, measurement of prejudice and stereotyping has a long history.  For instance, the self-report of these phenomena was employed by the psychologists since the beginning of the twentieth century.  Consequently, “in recent times the rationale of using an indirect measure of stereotyping and prejudice has outgrown desirability of socials bias” (Ito et al., 2016).

Notably, numerous types of indirect measure including self-measurement may tap various facets of the underlying issues.  Moreover, since self-reporting explains how a person intentionally deliberate on impression of the intergroup, interact measure may capture the automatic and spontaneous response to other social groups, “ It follows that the divergence and convergence between self- reported and indirect means are a contentious topic” (Ito et al., 2016).  However, some controversies surround the validity of an indirect and direct measure of prejudice.

As a result, it is worth stating that there exists a distinct difference between automatic and deliberate stereotyping and bias.  Prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination extensively correlates. Consequently, scholars have been developing models to depict this correlation. One of the models stipulates that prejudice is a product of stereotyping since individuals establish antipathy towards a particular group by the groups’ characteristics. And in turn, “discrimination becomes a product of prejudice because individuals treat disadvantageously treat group members due to the disdain they feel for the individual group” (Ito et al., 2016).

This model explicitly implies that intentional appraisal causes a useful reaction which later shapes the behaviour and assumptions, therefore, this approach is based on the reasoned action. Interestingly, stereotyping and prejudice do not generate the heated debate because of the private feelings, thoughts and concerns people may have but because of the general assumption that the assumption that these private thoughts are likely to influence other actions and decisions in a way that may have consequences to the targeted individual. Also, explicit choices and judgments are subject to control and deliberation.

“However, people are mostly not aware of the numerous factors that have a significant influence on their judgment since intergroup constitute a considerable portion of these influence” (Ito et al., 2016). Thus, individuals who have the aspiration of being unprejudiced should have the option of disregarding stereotyping and prejudice when they are concluding other people.

In the context of intergroup relations, the interpersonal relation is where the rubber hits the road.  The reasons are that, when various groups’ members associate or interact with each other, there are high chances of prejudice and stereotyping influencing their behaviour. Specifically one of the most striking consequences of stereotypes massively depends on automatic behavior.  “When a given group activates their stereotype, these stereotypes tend to elicit a response to behavior” (Ito et al., 2016). For example, when one thinks about the elderly, one may tend to think about an individual who is strolling or having a more significant forgetfulness. Therefore the mechanism that produces ties effects and this basis of operation are because of understanding and perceiving an essential behavioural concept.

Moreover, self –fulfilling prophecy is another essential behavioural manifestation of prejudice and stereotype.  For instance, “in the interaction between different races, the bias that may be expected of an individual on another race may make them behave in a way that may elicit specific behavior” (Ito et al., 2016).  And when we interact with somebody from a different race, we speculate that the interaction will not be commendable. “Thus we may consequently interact with these group of people coldly, thus eliciting a cold response” (Bodenhausen and Richeson).

Therefore, processes unfold typically, since the expectations of stereotypes can be unintentionally activated. Even though prejudice and stereotyping are ubiquitous, both internal codes and social norms of being non-prejudiced may lead a person from being non-prejudiced, thus leading into controlling their expression (Bodenhausen and Richeson). Contrary to the theories which assert that it is inevitable to encounter prejudice to a given group of people, numerous studies have shown that there is the likelihood of social perceivers to govern and control the activation of bigotry at the initial stages and also control, the influence of stereotypical associations on behaviour and judgment.

“The expression of intergroup biases significantly depends on the interaction between the automatically-activated mental executive and association control” (Bodenhausen and Richeson).  Therefore there are two methods we can use to minimise the feeling of prejudice, firstly is to lessen the level in which people automatically perceive members for low-status background, social groups stereotypically. Consequently, in the absence of automatically activated biases, people are less likely to be prejudiced. The second method is about increasing the motivation of an individual, and ability to control their expression of prejudice which has been motivated.

In conclusion, although it was initially thought that the activation of stereotypical and prejudicial mental associations when interacting with different groups are inevitable, recent researchers have proved otherwise.  The degree to which the biased psychological association becomes activated is dependent on numerous factors incorporating chronic individuals such as those who perceive the persistent explicit motivation and attitude, to respond to the ways which are not biased, social context features, and the situational goals of an individual.

Since people cannot immediately alter their chronic motivations and attitudes, change their stages of motivation and goals and control their reaction when they come across members from stigmatised groups, rescuers have developed several techniques of regulating the expression of bias such as perspective taking. Specifically, perspective taking is a successful method which may undermine the activation of based mental association although during intergroup interaction is less straightforward.

The Nature of Prejudice and Discrimination essay

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The Nature of Prejudice and Discrimination. (2021, Nov 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-nature-of-prejudice-and-discrimination/

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