Sunday, March 18, 2012

Midterm Question

Describe the different functions of prejudice and the difference between stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination:

Stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination often get used interchangeably when their definitions all refer to specifically different things. While they all are a thinking process, stereotypes involve categorization and do not always have a negative connotation. For example, the stereotype, "Asians are good at math," is positive. Prejudice is the thought process that connects with a negative emotions, such as "Asians are bad at driving." Discrimination is when you put those thoughts and feelings into an action, such as not hiring someone from a preexisting stereotype or prejudice.
Prejudices have many different functions, one of which being psychological functions. Prejudices can occur when someone has a fear or insecurity about themselves that is prevalent in another type of person. Such as someone struggling with their sexuality may develop prejudices and hostilities towards those who are homosexual. Another function of prejudice is social and cultural functions. These functions are more of a result as being influenced by the views and opinions of those around you and can also help strengthen the bond between an individual and the group with which they come form. The last function of prejudices is economic functions. When prejudices occur, they can make the discriminations occurring seem more legitimate in that a large group of people all share a similar belief about another group, therefor garnering strength in numbers in their actions against the group being discriminated upon.

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