Origins of Prejudice

Topics: Sociology, Psychology, Personality psychology Pages: 2 (492 words) Published: March 17, 2011
Prejudice is known all over this planet we live on that we call earth. People act prejudice towards one another intentionally and unintentionally. The term “prejudice” is an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought, or reason. An example of this term is like if someone is walking in a deserted area and three senior citizens walks from the opposite side with canes in hand, that person would not feel threatened. But instead of senior citizens, if they were three teenagers in jeans and t-shirts with tattoos and metal chains than that person would feel threatened. It’s good to be prejudice in certain situations to understand your surroundings to be safe. Yet, people abused this act and use it towards plenty of innocent people.

Many researchers and sociologist broke down the origins of prejudice to four different theories: Scapegoat Theory, Authoritarian Personality Theory, Culture Theory, and Conflict Theory. The theory that best describes the origin of prejudice is the Culture Theory. The Culture Theory explains how even though extreme prejudice may be found in some people, some prejudice is found in everyone. This theory also explains how prejudice is a part of culture and how culture taught us all to view certain categories of people as “better” or “worse” than others. Everyone’s actions and thoughts were all socialized through them. If a child grew up in household of the family disliking African Americans, that child more than likely is going to end up the same way. For example, in my household, I grew up learning that Caucasians earned most of the world’s wealth and like the “rich” people. Another example is how every white person I see speaks proper English. This supports the Culture Theory because even though I might be wrong, those thoughts were something I picked up from TV, or a family member, etc.

The theory that is least effective at explaining the origins of prejudice is the Authoritarian Personality Theory. This...
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