Prejudice, Stereotype, and Discrimination Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Have you ever gone a day without judging someone? Probably not. It is so easy to judge others without even meaning to do it. In the textbook Education Psychology, Anita Woolfolk describes prejudice as prejudgment or irrational generalization about an entire category of people (Woolfolk, 2008). Prejudice is a major problem in everyday lives. It is happening all around us. Prejudice can be a positive or negative thing. It is usually negative, brings people down, and not all the way true. Discrimination is treating or acting unfairly toward particular categories of people.

(Woolfolk, 2008) Conflict Research Consortium says Prejudice and discrimination are negative manifestations of integrative power. Instead of bringing or holding people together, prejudice and discrimination push them apart. (Prejudice and Discrimination, 1998) Prejudices can be judged by race, appearance, gender, values, location, and religion. By about the age of four, children are aware of differences among people, like appearance, language and names. Later they become aware of religious and cultural distinctions.

Young children will not develop biases unless their parents teach them to be prejudiced. Even without direct coaching from their parents, many young children develop racial prejudice. (Woolfolk, 2008) It is sad that children are learning about racial prejudice at such a young age. Young children may or may not be aware of the special treatment boys tend to receive from their teachers over girls. They are very much aware that their feelings, opinions and beliefs receive less consideration because of their youth.

When children approach adolescence, they become more alert of the subtle prejudices about the differences in social class and religion. Stereotyping is a schema that organizes knowledge or perceptions about a category. (Woolfolk, 2008) It is so hard not to stereotype others. Stereotyping organizes what you know or believe about people into groups. People use stereotypes to make sense of the world. Stereotypes distort information to fit your thinking better.

Prejudice creates social and emotional tension, can lead to fear and anxiety and occasionally hostility and violence, and can ruin the self-esteem and self-confidence of those being ridiculed and make them feel terrible, unaccepted, and unworthy. Childrens school performance suffers, they may become depressed and socially withdrawn. (Prejudice, 2007) Prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination have been going on for a long time. African Americans were considered worthless a long time ago. They were used as slaves. There were segregated schools, buses, and stores. In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his speech about whites and blacks should be treated equally.

The laws started to change after that point in time. I do not think prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination has gone down. I think it is still a big factor in society. This parenting website I looked at said this children are also being exposed to different cultures through the media. They are learning and forming opinions about people and events all over the country and the world. As a result, there is more of a need and opportunity to help children learn to understand and value diversity. (Prejudice, 2007) Children need to know why people are different and do things differently.

Media is still a big part of prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination. Children see what actors and actresses wear and how they act in movies. They see the commercials about food (if I eat this, I will look like that). I think as teachers and parents we need be good examples for children today. They should not say bad things about people in front of children. Teachers and parents need to tell children that it is okay to be friends with a person who is different. I found an article on this website that parents have asked some questions about prejudice.

Some of the questions are Is there prejudice in public schools? Yes. Do educators hold different expectations for minority children? Yes. Are children denied access to advanced or gifted placement classed based on racial biases? Yes. Can the battle against prejudice in public education be successfully fought and won? Yes. (Prejudice and Discrimination In Public Schools, 2001) I really like the last question, prejudice can be fought and won. It all starts at home, parents are their childs first teacher. Children see what their parents say and how they act.

One example of stereotyping that I thought of was that I did an internship my senior year of high school. I helped a second grade teacher. After a couple of times going into the class, the teacher would always whisper to me about this little girl. She says she never gets anything right, she always has messy hair, she is always talking, and the list went on and on. One Sunday I was at church and I saw that girl. I told my mom what the teacher had told me about that girl. My mom said that she has had a hard couple of months. She told me that the little girls mom had left her and her family.

I felt really bad for the girl. After that day, I started to recognize the girl. I would say hi to her when I would see her. I did not care what she looked liked. To this day, the girl always comes up to me in church and gives me a hug. Stereotyping often results from and leads to prejudice. Prejudice leads to discrimination. Prejudice can be spread by the use of propaganda. Language, particularly slang, is often used to dehumanize members of certain groups of people. (Grobman, 1990) All three of these judgments go together. It is hard to do one without doing the other two.

It is really bad that people rather make judgments about people than getting to know them. People really need to take the time to know the person or group of people before they start making judgments. It is sad that young children are making judgments about people. Parents and teachers need to turn prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination around. It can be fought and won. Works Cited Grobman, G. M. (1990). The HolocaustA Guide for Teachers. Retrieved November 29, 2009, from A Guide for Teachers Web site: http://remember. org/guide/History. root. stereotypes. html Prejudice.

(2007, June). Retrieved November 29, 2009, from American Academy of Pediatrics: http://www. aap. org/publiced/BK5_Prejudice. htm Prejudice and Discrimination. (1998). Retrieved November 29, 2009, from Conflict Research Consortium: http://www. colorado. edu/conflict/peace/problem/prejdisc. htm Prejudice and Discrimination In Public Schools. (2001). Retrieved November 29, 2009, from The Public School Parents Network: http://www. psparents. net/Prejudice%20&%20Discrimination. htm Woolfolk, A. (2008). Education Psychology: Active Learning Edition. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

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