“Most people know about and have experienced prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Social psychologists differentiate among these terms by focusing on whether they involve feelings (affect), cognition, or behaviors.” (Feenstra, J. 2013) As individuals we tend to migrate toward those that may look think or act like us because it may cause hate towards anyone that is different. This may inhibit social interaction with those outside of our comfort zone. There are often consequences that affect how you feel about other people that prevent you from really getting to know them. Having been taken away from my home at the tender age of ten gave me a 1st hand account of State Dependency. I can personally say State Dependents cannot escape the system or how others view them. Foster care meant I was often judged and I was stripped of everything I knew. I was forced to live my life as a State Dependent; however, I beat everybody’s doubt and negativity.
Life as a State Dependent taught me to stay close to those that may look or act like me because it may be a cause of hate directed at us from anyone that is different from us. In the text from American Academy of Pediatrics, prejudice is described as “prejudgment or irrational generalization about an entire category of people.” (Pediatrics, 2007.) Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of judging someone due to stereotypes? I know I have been guilty of it. Discrimination is “treating or acting unfairly toward particular categories of people.” (Pediatrics, 2007.) The Conflict Research Consortium states “Prejudice and discrimination are negative manifestations of integrative power.” Prejudice and discrimination push people apart instead of bringing or holding them together. (Prejudice and Discrimination, 1998.) State Dependents can be judged by race, appearance, gender, values, religion, and background history.
Stereotypes are used by people to make sense of the world around them it organizes what you know or believe about people into various groups. Moreover, it is difficult not to stereotype people because it distorts information that fits your thinking better. Prejudice creates social and emotional tension, and may lead to fear, anxiety and occasionally hostility and violence, which can then lead to the ruin of self-esteem and self-confidence of those being bullied. State dependents are labeled as unlovable, worthless, deadbeats, misfits, I was basically prepackaged for failure. Media plays a large part in stereotypes such as prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination.
Being a State Dependent offered justification when others judged me as if I was psychotic. Altering the way my teachers, mentor, peers, and paid staff looked at me. When asked how the comments made me feel, I tilted my head back and laughed heartily. Cringing inside from nervous laughter, I retreated into my mind, sometimes running away at top speed, and then as I open my eyes, I turn and walk away like stars on the...