Prejudice,stereotypes and discrimination - Essay Example

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Some of the challenges that people experience in life include prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. I believe that I am not the only one who has ever experienced these either as a recipient or perpetrator…
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Download file to see previous pages Some of the challenges that people experience in life include prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping. I believe that I am not the only one who has ever experienced these either as a recipient or perpetrator. To understand this better, it is imperative that I begin by defining what the terms prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping mean. Baumeister and Bushman (393) define prejudice as the incorrect or unjustified attitude (negative) directed toward a person based entirely on the person’s membership to a social group. For instance, an individual may be prejudiced based on their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or skin color. Discrimination, on the other hand, is the negative actions or behavior directed toward an individual or group of people in the society based on race, social class, sexual orientation, or gender among other factors according to Baumeister and Bushman (393). Stereotypes pertain to negative generalizations about the characteristics of members of a particular group in the society usually. The three things usually go hand in hand, and I have been a victim of the three as exemplified below. 1. Incidence where I became the victim of Discrimination, Prejudice, and Stereotyping I once became a target of prejudice based on my race. This happened shortly after my arrival in the US from Asia to pursue my Bachelors degree. I was walking on a street in Washington DC, with a friend, who is a US citizen by birth. What baffled me was the way two young ladies were starring at me. At first, I thought they knew me, or that they were confusing me for someone else. However, I later realized that this was not the case as one of them murmured, “look at that dwarf man.” This was in reference to my height as I was probably much shorter than the average American man. It is then that one of them came and asked me “are you a Chinese?” Yes, I replied. She then began to measure how tall I was using a tape measure that she was carrying. Before she could finish her business, she bust into loud laughter and stated emphatically that I am a true Chinese. The ladies’ comments came not because I am too short, but due to the notion, and prejudice they have against Chinese. They believe that all Chinese are short. They thus stereotype any Chinese they come across. This was not the end of the experience. After going back to the residential quarters where we lived, a young man came along and called me ‘a photocopy’. It was so shocking because at first I thought the he wanted to photocopy some of the papers he held in his hands. However, it was later that I realized that I was being stereotyped. This is after a certain friend of mine who is an American told me that US people consider anybody from China as a ‘photocopy’ since they perceive products from China not to be authentic. Indeed, I felt very bad about all the incidences. This is so because the comments were all negative. For instance, how can someone be called a dwarf based solely on the belief that all Chinese nationals are short? Being short is natural and no one, I believe, determined how black, white, short, or tall they would be. However, all these are biological “accidents” that no one really chooses. Furthermore, being stereotyped as a ‘photocopy’ is not something good at all. This is because not all Chinese products are fake as the stereotype I experienced in the US suggests. Where I became the Perpetrator I have not only been a victim of prejudice, I have, regrettably been a perpetrator too. I once stereotyped an American national as a proud man. This happened when I was at home, in China. I saw an American man walking down the streets. The only reference I made of him to other friends whom I was with was, “look at this proud people.” This is based on Asians’ perception that all American people are proud and feel on top of the world. I have generally grown up knowing American people as proud people. This belief was occasioned by the fact that my parents who are Indonesians but ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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