Prejudice, Stereotype, and Discrimination

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Shellyann Cummings
Richard McDonald

Prejudice, Stereotype, and Discrimination

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...
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