Checkpoint: American Society, Prejudice and Discrimination

311 Words2 Pages
According to Merriam-Webster Prejudice is defined as (1) a preconceived judgment or opinion or (2) an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge. (Merriam-webster) They also define discrimination as (a) the act, practice, or an instance of discrimintaing categorically rather than individually or (b) Prejudiced or prejudicial outlook action or treatment. (Merriam-Webster) These two concepts differ yet are similar. While both prejudice and discrimination require a minority party there are some differences. Prejudice is an outlook on a race or culture where as discrimination requires an action against a minority. These two concepts can be independent of each other or work together. A prejudiced person does not neccsarily discriminate. Scapegoat theory is the transfer of responsibility to a vulnerable group rather than to take responsibility for a failure. (Schaefer, 2006) Exploitation theory is used to justify keeping a group in a subordinate position. \(Schaefer, 2006) These theories help enable people to continue a cycle of hate by pointing fingers at minorities so as to not have to take blame or responsibility themselves. Also, by keeping a group in a lower position it has an effect on how others view the group also. When there exists a cycle of negative reinforcement the attept to free the group from prejudice and discrimination is difficult at best. Education is an effective method of reducing intolerance and prejudice at least temporarily. (Schaefer, 2006) Theory suggests despite a lack of clear cut evidence that the continued effort to educate society will be an aspect in a reduction of prejudice. (Schaefer, 2006) Education of police officers and military personnel is already in place and helping to make a difference in the perception of minorities. There are drawbacks to educating the public, a lack on clear and
Open Document