Discrimination: The Causes And Consequences Of Prejudice

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Prejudice and discrimination are attitude or actual positive and negative actions toward the members of a group based solely on membership in that group. Many prejudices seem to be passed along from parents to children in a form called socialization. The media - including television, movies, and advertising - also perpetuate demeaning images and stereotypes about assorted groups, such as ethnic minorities, women, gays, lesbians, the disabled, and the elderly. Conforming behavior is when prejudices may bring support from significant others, so rejecting prejudices may lead to losing social support. The pressures to conform to the views of the families, friends, and associates can be formidable. Another factor that may contribute are economic benefits. Social studies…show more content…
It also includes a suspicion of outsiders. Most cultures have their ethnocentric tendencies, which usually involve stereotypical thinking. Group closure is the process whereby groups keep clear boundaries between themselves and others. Refusing to marry outside and ethnic group is an example of how group closure is accomplished. For decades, sociologists have looked to ways of reducing and eliminating conflicts and prejudices between groups: One theory, the self‐esteem hypothesis, is that when people have an appropriate education and higher self‐esteem, their prejudices will go away. Another theory is the contact hypothesis, which states that the best answer to prejudice is to bring together members of different groups so they can learn to appreciate their common experiences and backgrounds. A third theory, the cooperation hypothesis, holds that conflicting groups need to cooperate by laying aside their individual interests and learning to work together for shared goals. A fourth theory, the legal hypothesis, is that prejudice can be eliminated by enforcing laws against discriminating behavior. To date, solutions to prejudice that emphasize change at the individual level have
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