prejudice

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prejudice,

unsubstantiated prejudgment of an individual or group, favorable or unfavorable in character, tending to action in a consonant direction. The hostility that prejudice can engender and the discrimination to which it may lead on the part of a dominant population toward an ethnic group, gender, religious or linguistic minority have caused great human suffering throughout history. Some researchers attribute prejudice to deep-rooted "fear of the stranger," while others cite religious or nationalist chauvinism, and fear of economic competition. Most, however, agree that prejudice is learned and can be reduced when members of different communities work together toward the realization of a common goal or when groups intermarry. Since prejudice and discrimination each contribute to the origin and growth of the other, prejudice can be reduced by removing discrimination, and a change in discriminatory institutions usually leads to a change in attitudes.

Bibliography

See G. Allport, the Nature of Prejudice (1979); R. Williams, Mutual Accommodation (1979); T. Pettigrew, Sociology of Race Relations (1980).

prejudice

any opinion or ATTITUDE which is unjustified by the facts. The term tends to have a negative connotation both because a prejudiced person's opinions are unfounded and often not formed through first-hand experience, and also because the attitudes described are usually negative in relation to the object they are held about. However, one can hold a positive but prejudiced attitude. Prejudice has been related to personality type (see AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY), and also to group membership. As with all attitudes, prejudices are the result of social learning within families and other social groups where opportunities for modelling and strong pressures towards conformity exist. See also STEREOTYPE, ETHNOCENTRISM.

Prejudice

 

an opinion that precedes reason and is adopted uncritically, without reflection. The Russian term for “prejudice” is also applied to irrational components of social and individual consciousness, including superstitions associated with religion.

A prejudice is an unfavorable social attitude toward some phenomenon. Not based on critically tested experience, stereotyped and emotionally colored, it is nevertheless highly stable and not very susceptible to change in the face of rational information. Ethnic and racial prejudices are especially persistent. Prejudices also exist in other spheres of social psychology.

Like any sociopsychological stereotype, ethnic prejudice has dual roots—socioeconomic and psychological. Ethnic prejudices and feelings of racial and national enmity are rooted in the objective conditions of social life, which place people in hostile relations with each other. Distrust and suspicion of the “outsider” were already entrenched in the ethnocentrism of primitive thought, which by necessity was limited to the framework of one’s own clan and tribe. “We” was defined through correlation and opposition with some other group— “them.” With the development of exchange and intertribal contact, people’s notions about other ethnic communities became more complex, but the content and emotional coloration of these notions always reflected the specific history of the interrelations of the respective groups. Neutral or friendly relations engendered neutral or positive stereotypes. A dependent, subordinate group with a lower level of civilization would draw a condescending and contemptuous attitude and would be represented with traits of childlike naïvete and intellectual inferiority (the typical image of the “native” in 19th century colonial folklore). A rival group, conversely, would be perceived as hostile and dangerous; its members would be represented with traits of aggressiveness, craftiness, and moral unreliability. The appropriate stereotypes would be solidly entrenched in the mass consciousness and sanctified by religion.

In an antagonistic class society, ethnic prejudices not only grow spontaneously out of the depths of mass psychology as specific, albeit distorted, forms of symbolization of social conflicts, but they are also consciously disseminated and propagated by reactionary classes in order to disunite the working people and divert their attention from fundamental social problems. Hence the essential prerequisites for eliminating all national and racial prejudices are the destruction of classes and of exploitation of man by man and wide-scale educational work in a socialist society.

However, prejudice is not only a social but also a psychological phenomenon. A stereotype that is one and the same in terms of objective content may in one instance be simply a means of adaptation to a social situation—for example, racist attitudes in a society where racial inequality is the norm—while in another it is a defense mechanism for an individual who projects onto an “outsider” his own, unrecognized, qualities. A psychological interpretation of national and other prejudices that claims to replace a sociohistorical and class-oriented analysis is reactionary and untenable. However, the study of the dialectics of cognitive, emotional, and volitional components of prejudice or the relationship between social attitude and real behavior is of great importance for developing effective methods of upbringing.

I. S. KON

prejudice

without prejudice Law without dismissing or detracting from an existing right or claim
References in periodicals archive ?
The expression of prejudiced attitudes against homosexuals will be lower in the High normative pressure condition than in the condition in which the norm is simply activated (Simple norm-activation condition) and in the Control condition (H1); there should be no different effects between the Simple norm-activation and the Control conditions on the expression of prejudiced attitudes towards homosexuals (H1.
The BSA survey shows that the West Midlands has the highest proportion of people, approximately 36% who say they are a little or very prejudiced against people of other races in the UK.
Most people, in most situations, neither think of themselves as prejudiced, nor do they exhibit overtly prejudicial speech or behavior.
This is often difficult to do because of the root of your prejudice and the length of time you have had it, but this first step is vital because if you can't admit you are prejudiced then you will never do anything to eliminate it.
015), suggesting that, after allowing for individual factors, Muslims living with a higher percentage of Whites were less prejudiced than those living in areas with fewer Whites.
He suggests that individualists and collectivists can express different reasons to behave in a prejudiced and discriminative way, depending on the horizontal and vertical attributes of individualism and collectivism.
For instance, Talley and Bettencourt (2008; Study 1) observed that high prejudiced males reported less communalities with a gay partner than low prejudiced males.
We also discovered that being prejudiced toward Jews makes a person more likely to express prejudice toward Muslims than any other factor studied.
Prejudice is also difficult to evaluate because in modern democratic societies there have been systematic campaigns against prejudice, racism, and xenophobia which have led people to seek to appear to be tolerant without abandoning their prejudiced attitudes (Gaertner & Dovidio, 1977; Meertens & Pettigrew, 1997; Saucier, Miller, & Doucet, 2005).
Indeed, with some people, you must question whether they really do realise that their words and actions are prejudiced and do cause serious offence.
1 : to cause to have an unfair dislike of <The incident prejudiced them against the company.
Intergroup approaches also help prejudiced people to realize that individuals comprising different groups are not homogeneous and begin to realize that each group is as assorted and diverse as their own.