Prejudice Reduction - Essay Example

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Social psychological analysis says that prejudice could be found in every human being and prejudice reduction is possible. It also blunts with social awareness, age and cognitive development. Individual and personality research of stereotypes have detected many aspects of prejudices including the automatic and controlled aspects, social and developmental aspects connecting to mainly modern forms of prejudice…
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Prejudice Reduction
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Download file to see previous pages Historical origins of prejudice date back as ancient as human history. It is difficult to find any part of it not smeared with human prejudice. In modern times, prejudice is connected to psychoanalysis theories, methods and empirical findings of developmental psychology. It is also a part of concept of development, especially, cognitive development, language development, socialization and many more peer relations, emotional bondages and social interactions in the society.
The term 'prejudiced' refers to people who view their adversaries as threats. They think that these adversaries are either inferior or immoral and this kind of prejudice makes them intensely dislike these 'enemies' and sometimes this becomes active opposition. It can continue to a dangerous level of opposition, creating tension, which will lead to violent confrontation.
Prejudice reduction is a programme of techniques that are calculated to reduce the destructive stereotypes. Usually done individually or in small workshops like bringing together adversaries and advising them or bring the conflicting groups together and explaining to them. Small misunderstandings and assumptions, left unattended, give rise to huge problems and prejudices build up on these problems. When people talk and listen to one another, they realise that most of their assumptions had simple, clear explanations that had no resemblance to their assumptions. Making them to hold unprejudiced conversation in tension free atmosphere is best way of diffuse tension. First step towards success is considered to be the overcoming of 'communicating problems' in the case.
"The final key to prejudice reduction is the willingness of the parties to tolerate their differences, especially with regard to moral issues. This is where the integrative system's search for common values which transcend differing values becomes critical"
Sometimes mass media does this work to reduce the prejudices of the society or general population. Other useful programmes are educating, propaganda, distributing prejudice-reducing literature and these do help. Educating programmes could be very beneficial in bringing down an unbridled bias.
"One of the fundamental characteristics of stereotypes is that they are difficult to change once they become established. Of course, some stereotype do change, at least in some cases, but they may not change as fast as they should given the new information that we learn about group members," (Stangor, 2000, p. 13).
Theories of prejudice include Social Reflection theory, that claims that prejudice reflects the differential values of various groups and their hierarchy, Inner State theory, which says that conflict arises with the not-so-good human being and the desire to be good, and Social-cognitive developmental theory that predicts various types of prejudices according to various age groups and their cognitive structure. Piaget's explanation of cognitive development of prejudice assumes that 'preferences develop parallel to cognitive processes'.
"Social-cognitive developmental theories claim that prejudice is inevitable in young children because of their cognitive limitations. The prejudice seen in a child at one developmental stage is qualitatively ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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