Prejudice and Discrimination

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What is social psychology? Social psychology is defined as the scientific study of how a person’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings are influenced by the actual, imagined or implied presence of other human beings. As we look back over the past few years, we see that some form of prejudice and discrimination still exist today in society. I want to elaborate on and define the types of prejudices and how people discriminate, how they are learned, and how to overcome prejudice. Prejudice is defined as a preconceived judgment or opinion that is usually based on limited information about a group or groups of people.

Some people would commonly agree that prejudice is stereotyping. Discrimination is prejudicial attitudes that cause members of a particular social group to be treated differently than others in situations that call for equal treatment. There are many kinds of prejudices or attitudes, but discrimination is a result of prejudice. Several ways in which people are discriminated upon include age, race, and sex. People are often prejudice toward those form different ethnic groups, those form different religions, those from different economic levels, those who are overweight, and those who are too thin.

Prejudice vary in two different types of groups called the in-groups and the out-groups or the “us” versus “them”. These groups are formed early in childhood. The in-groups are considered to be the particular person for whom they are identified with and the out-group is to be considered everyone else. Soon after the in-groups are established, the prejudice and discriminatory treatment of the out-group or groups soon follow. Then the out-groups are stereotyped based on the color of their skin or color of their hair and can be difficult.

There are many laws that are in place to minimize or control the discriminatory behavior, but there is no law against having a certain attitude. The realistic conflict theory in prejudice is the increase of prejudice and discrimination by a degree of conflict between in-groups and the out-groups over limited resource, such as land or a job. A current example not related to land but religion would be, according to, “Neal Broverman, of The Advocate, Virginia’s lower house passed that would allow student groups at public universities to deny members because they conflict with the groups’ eligious beliefs.

This bill would prohibit discriminating against a student organization or group on the basis of the religious, political, philosophical or other content of the organization or group’s speech. ” The bill also allows religious or political student organizations to determine who will not be allowed in their membership “in furtherance of the organization’s religious or political mission. “

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