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Methods Of Reducing Prejudice And Discrimination

2805 words - 11 pages

Prejudice can be defined as the judgement of a group or an individual based mainly on group association. Prejudice is not necessarily negative. Ethnocentrism is an example of positive prejudice towards one’s in-group. Discrimination can be defined as the negative or positive behaviours towards individuals based on their group association. Discrimination may be obvious or subtle, either way both can be damaging. Although discrimination and prejudice often go hand in hand, there is a difference between the two. Prejudice is just the negative or positive view of others, whereas discrimination is putting prejudice into action. An example of prejudice would be that of ordinary racist remarks whilst an example of discrimination would be the execution of the caste system in India. This question assumes that prejudice is common in this world, and that this problem needs to be solved.
Psychologists have created four main hypotheses which can be used to solve this problem. The first hypothesis, the self-esteem hypothesis, it is said that if people have an appropriate education and higher self-esteem, their prejudices will go away. The second hypothesis is the contact hypothesis, which states that the best solution to prejudice is to bring together members of different groups so they can learn to appreciate their common experiences and backgrounds. The third hypothesis, the cooperation hypothesis, depicts that conflicting groups need to cooperate by laying aside their individual interests and learning to work together for common goals. Lastly the fourth hypothesis, the legal hypothesis, is that prejudice can be reduced by enforcing laws against discriminative behaviour.
In my opinion, we should always start looking to solve a problem on the individual basis. Prejudice and discrimination can be greatly reduced by taking part in activities marking the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination every March 21,joining organizations dealing with issues of racism and human rights, by suggesting that the individual’s local newspaper publish a special section on the racial and cultural diversity of their community, by exploring ways in which community organizations can work together to promote positive race relations and by suggesting that the individual’s community develop a policy statement against all forms of racial discrimination.

Many prejudices seem to be passed along from parents to children. The media including television, movies, and advertising, also maintain abase images and stereotypes about assorted groups, such as ethnic minorities, women, gays and lesbians, the disabled, and the elderly. Because of early socialization, some people are especially prone to stereotypical thinking and projection based on their unconscious fears. Psychologist Adorno proposed that individuals in their early stages of childhood who are raised with overly ascetic rules that are cruel, will develop an "authoritarian personality type." This...

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