How Might Prejudice Develop and How Might It Be Reduced?

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How might prejudice develop and how might it be reduced?

Prejudice: A judgment or opinion made without adequate knowledge; to Prejudge, to pass judgement or form premature opinion.

We can break the word prejudice down into two parts to give clearer understanding of its meaning, Pre is before and judice is to make judgement, so it is a negative preconceived judgement on an individual or group prior to seeking full knowledge or understanding about them. Prejudice effects many aspects of today’s society. Racism, sexism and homophobia are all examples of discrimination against a group that they may feel does not fit in to their norms in society. This can stretch further to prejudice against single parents, students, the elderly, the disabled, Goths, Emo’s, basically any group can be subjected to a form of prejudice. These negative preconceived ideas affect the way we treat people on a day to day basis. It is fair to say that most people would like to think they are tolerant of others and are not prejudice but it is unlikely that these people have no prejudice at all, it is inevitable that certain groups would not personally appeal to everyone and we may be drawn to other groups for company. There are three elements of prejudice. The cognitive element which are ideas about a particular group which form stereotypes. The affective element involves feelings in relation to a certain group, these feelings could include anger, disgust, intimidation or even hate. The behavioural element involves actions taken to express these feelings, for instance an individual may avoid a certain group or individual belonging to a group, they may become abusive either verbally or physically, in extreme circumstances this discrimination can lead to such atrocities as the Holocaust where millions of Jews were exterminated. The media has a massive impact on our opinions of others. It may not be that someone expressing prejudice has had direct contact or experience of a group...
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