Can prejudice ever be eliminated?
What exactly is prejudice? Contrary to popular belief, prejudice is not the same as discrimination, even though both terms are usually tossed into the fray together. Prejudice refers to the prejudgment; where people make assumptions or decisions even before being aware of the relevant facts. On the other hand, discrimination refers to the treatment or distinction in favour or against a particular person, group or class. That being said, prejudice would certainly be much more widespread in societies all over the world as compared to discrimination. After all, prejudice can manifest in a society in various different ways, such as racism, Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) violence, hate crimes and gender bias just to name a few. In Singapore, we are fortunate to not have to witness heinous crimes based on peoples’ prejudice against others with the government’s tough stance against such acts. This and other examples may just provide the slim chance of which the abolishment of prejudice in society may become a reality, as further discussions would attempt to show that prejudice may possibly be eradicated. Firstly, prejudice is actually not part of human nature, which is contrary to popular belief. A German social psychologist, Hofstatter, had suggested in 1954 that prejudice against members of other groups represents a “normal” phenomenon of human social life and that no one is free from this attitude. This would be an extreme conclusion as the absence of prejudice among young children show that prejudice is not innate, but learned. Children are brought into the world without bias and thus learn from those with close relations to them, learning their parent’s ethnic attitudes and even from the media. For example, the idea of white superiority and racism may have been implied in the American comedy “Friends”, where the entire cast are white people. Secondly, true to the Herd Mentality, societal pressures cause individuals to...
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