Prejudice and Discrimination

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Discuss the factors that contribute to prejudice and discrimination and identify some techniques for reducing the development of prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice and discrimination have been prevalent throughout human history. Prejudice has to do with a negative attitude held by a person about members of a particular group, while discrimination refers to behaviors directed differently against people because of prejudice toward the social group they belong to. Prejudice is the attitude and discrimination is the behavior that can result from the attitude. Discrimination can be controlled by laws, but the prejudicial attitude can’t be easily controlled. In any community, there will always be in-groups and out-groups. In-groups are social groups to which a person identifies as being a member. By contrast, an out-group is a social group to which an individual does not identify. For example, people may find it meaningful to view themselves according to their sex, race, culture, weight, religion and so on. Prejudice can be learned through direct instruction, modeling, and other social influences on learning as seen by the social cognitive theory. The best way to overcome prejudice is to learn about people who are different than you in multiple ways. Additionally, the best way to learn about people is to have direct contact with them and get to know them on a personal level. Intergroup contact is where people from different lifestyles live, work, and study together. Furthermore, since they go through common life experiences, they find it fascinating to find a common ground with each other and learn more about one another. Lastly, equal status contact is contact on an equal basis. Both groups must engage equally in the relationship. Members of the group should have similar backgrounds, qualities, and characteristics. Differences in academic backgrounds, wealth,

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