Prejudice is the act of holding pre-conceived judgements or convictions, without enough knowledge of the facts (Whitley & Kite, 2016). This may also be the irrational hatred towards a particular group of people. Prejudice may be based on a number of factors such as sex, religion, socio-economic status, nationality and even race. Common features of prejudice are negative attitude, stereotyped beliefs and discrimination against members of a certain group. When prejudice occurs, discrimination, stereotyping and bullying may also occur. Some of the well-known prejudices include religious prejudice, nationalism, classicism, sexism and racism. Prejudice can take many forms and often has very negative consequences (Whitley & Kite, 2016).
Human beings are categorized into different races, according to their physical characteristics, history, cultural beliefs, geographical location and language (Whitley & Kite, 2016). For example, in the United States of America, there are different races such as the Caucasians, the Black Americans and Asians who differ from one another physically. However, these physical features do not make any particular race superior over the other. Yet there are people who have prejudiced beliefs that people from a particular race are inferior. This leads them to treat people from the race they consider inferior with violence. This type of prejudice is also practiced in work places where by people from a particular race are seen as not to have good skills and qualifications (Whitley & Kite, 2016). A person from the prejudiced race who may appear to have outstanding skills and qualifications at the work place may be discriminated, for example being given a lower post than what he deserves.
Though some of these prejudiced practices are passed from one generation to another, there is still something that can be done to reduce these cases. These can be done through increased contact with members of other groups in order to understand those better and making people aware of the inconsistencies in their own beliefs. . Gaining of public support against prejudiced practices may also help to reduce the prejudiced practices. Another way of getting rid of prejudiced practices is the passing of laws and regulations that encourage respect, fair and equal treatment of all social groups (Whitley & Kite, 2016).
Stereotypes are characteristics imposed over a group of people according to their gender and sexual orientations, nationality, race among others (Whitley & Kite, 2016). For example, someone may meet individuals from a certain group and found out that the individuals are quiet and reserved; making the person spread the word that members from that particular group are quiet and reserved. Such generalization may make groups feel discriminated and get stigmatized if the news has a great negative impact (Whitley & Kite, 2016). Stereotypes may be either negative or positive. All in all both stereotypes should be avoided at all costs. While all generalizations are stereotypes, not all generalizations are stereotypes. In the United States, racial groups are grouped according to a stereotype that is some groups are known to do well on basketball, football, athletics and dancing. These stereotypes are well known in that an ordinary American would not hesitate when asked which ethnic group in the country is known for doing well in Athletics.
Discrimination on the other hand is the unjust treatment of different categories of people. These categories may be in terms of sex, disabilities, citizenship, race, tribe or even colour.Discrimination occurs in workplace, at home, in sports, at school and anywhere whereby there is the thing of selection (Whitley & Kite, 2016). Discrimination in employment is whereby an employee or an applicant is treated unfairly in reference to hiring, promotion and compensation. Gender discrimination is a right violation act in that persons are treated unequally due to their sex. For example women are paid lowly than men yet the jobs that they are doing is the same. One may also know whether he or she is being discriminated during hiring when the interviewers ask inappropriate questions such as your religion, disabilities and other irrelevant questions not in touch to the job one applied for (Whitley & Kite, 2016). One may also be fired when pregnant or injured and needs time off to heal.
In sports, one may be discriminated against due to their race or color (Whitley & Kite, 2016).This is quite common in popular sports even though currently there have been stiff measures to try stop the act. A player could be send-off from a game for a slight misconduct which could have seen no action taken, when another player commits the same. Fans may also boo and shout ruthless words to players just because they are of different color. However there could be other actions which can be unfavorable treatment but not discrimination. Such actions always have valid intentions. This could be because of ensuring the safety of others or just to ensure that there is smooth running of events or maybe the doers did not know of your problem.
There may also be indirect discrimination. In this discrimination a rule or policy may seem fair because it applies to everyone but a closer look at it proves that some individuals are treated unfairly by the policy (Whitley & Kite, 2016). This is because the individuals are unable to comply with the policy or are disadvantaged by it.This should be looked into in that before formulating policies, the administration should look at its effect to all individuals.
- Whitley, B., & Kite, M. (2016). Psychology of prejudice and discrimination (3rd Ed.). New York.