Most countries have diverse cultures and people from different civilizations have to be accorded confidence based on the experiences that they undergo in such countries. Instead of using these unique cultures for the promotion of multiplicity, some people use them for the creation of discord in society. People take advantage of the cultural diversities to unleash unjustified abhorrence and fury based on unfounded truth. On the other hand, they are based on predetermined prejudices, stereotypes and discrimination. These can be referred to as the social biases that have reigned over the American society and other countries across the globe (Tausch & Hewstone, 2010).
This paper will provide several social biases and perceptions of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination. The delicate and deliberate impacts of these biases are the point of focus.
The Concept of Prejudice
Prejudice is unfounded attitude that is incorrect and usually attributed to a person who is related to a particular social group. For example, when people have bigoted views on a given sexual faction or race, the views are purely prejudicial. According to some psychologists like Nelson (2009), prejudice is a ‘’prejudgment, that is usually negative about a group or those affiliated to it.’’ A close look at this term gives the implication that it does not simply infer to a declaration of views, but to a negative attitude that may compromise mind sets, like disdain, abhor or antipathy. The terror squad, Al-Qaeda has an obsessed hatred towards the Americans. This hatred was mainly propagated during the reign of its leader Osama Bin Laden, and was aimed at the extermination of all non-Muslim Americans. The hatred is a prejudice characterized by negative attitudes towards the Americans.
The Concept of Stereotyping
Stereotype is usually defined as a predetermined, overwhelming belief about meticulous group or category of people. It is one of the social biases. The act of stereotyping people in most cases create a hindrance in analyzing them as individuals since they are often perceived in the same light as the social groups to which they belong or are linked (Nelson, 2009). Stereotype is a creation of the mind that leads to generalization of members of a particular group. Stereotypes can at times over generalize people or groups of people in positive light. It is possible to hear people classifying women as nurturing and kind while at the same time, Japanese are good in arithmetic. The over generalization can fail in considering that many women who may not correspond to such characteristics. Similarly, not all Japanese citizens perform well in arithmetic. This is an implication that positive stereotyping in a classroom setting can hinder a teacher from focusing on the minority who may need special attention. Negative stereotyping can damage the self esteem of people, especially when they are aimed at people by opinion makers like leaders and teachers.
The Concept of Discrimination
Discrimination is the conduct or negative actions aimed at individuals or groups of people. It can be based on gender, race and social class, and in most cases, the discriminated individuals suffer from the feeling of rejection. Discrimination has affected many people for centuries and does not seem to disappear even soon. During World War II, the Jews suffered discrimination from t5he German people. During the colonial times, Africans faced grave discrimination by the colonial governments because of their race.
Differences between Subtle and Blatant Bias
Blatant bias is usually deliberate and the individual who does it is usually aware of what he or she is doing. Such an individual cannot deny the act of biasness and usually does it openly. People who exhibit this kind of bias candidly show disapproval of the other faction.
Subtle bias is mild and is rarely perceptible. It is not vehemently shown and those who do it often deny the act. The true character is unleashed when an issue gets personal. An ideal example is in America where parents want public schools to be integrated but do not approve of interracial marriages.
Those who propose blatant bias totally disapprove the factions that they resent and may not want anything to do with them. In the United States, for instance, parents with racial bias may not take their children to multiracial schools or let them live alone in the same residential areas with blacks. However, people with subtle bias may not be part of this or even have a problem taking their children to such schools. They may not allow their children to marry from the disapproved race.
Impact of Bias on the Lives of Individuals
People can avoid some activities once they deregister from a group. An African student in a Japanese college is likely to be biased about arithmetic simply because he or she is not of Japanese origin. This is an implication that biases are tough inclinations for or against something. People can abandon acts that can help them in life because of stereotypes and discrimination. Such an impact plays a critical role not only in the victim’s life but also influences those who are in his environment. The Japanese can have a wrong perception of themselves regarding arithmetic. Some of them can even fail in putting personal effort because of that bias. Stereotypes, prejudices and discrimination can cause severe negative impacts on their victims, like despair and pulling out of the proponents of social biases (Rivers et al, 2009).
People who give way to the social biases can easily develop low self worth based on what their neighbors say about them. Correcting the issues of esteem can take quite a long time and in some cases, can create a lifelong perception of oneself. Biases can also motivate others towards working hard to disapprove those intending to discriminate them (Sinclair & Kunda 1999). Even though these biases are meant at humiliating them, they do not allow stereotypes and discriminations to weigh them down. They are focused on proving that the stereotypes are wrong and also making the world around them to know that the stereotypes are not true.
Strategies that can be applied in overcoming Social Biases
In many occasions, social biases directed towards other people are usually based on lack of sufficient information about the person or group being discriminated against. Instead of believing and practicing these biases based on fallacy, people should spend time with the one who possesses the stereotypes. This can foster a state of understanding between them and they can begin appreciating one another (Rudman et al, 2009). When those who identify people with such social biases get an understanding of their colleagues, and are able to learn from each other.
People should also seek to initiate the basis of the stereotypes through conducting careful research. Others have lost their lives because of depression and low self esteem after believing in what other people say about them. Deliberate steps should be made in the society towards getting people to shun such social biases since they hinder them from understanding the potential.
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Nelson, T. (2009). A Handbook of Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination. Retrieved on January 11, 2014 from: http://emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/Todd_D._Nelson_Handbook_of_Prejudice_StereotypiBookos.org_.pdf
Rivers, I., Poteat, V., Noret, N., & Ashurst, N. (2009). Observing bullying at school: The mental health implications of witness status. School Psychology Quarterly, 24(4), 211-223.
Rudman, L., Ashmore, R., & Gary, M. (2001). “Unlearning” automatic biases: The malleability of implicit prejudice and stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(5), 856-868.
Sinclair, L., & Kunda, Z. (1999). Reactions to a black professional: Motivated inhibition and activation of conflicting stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(5), 885-904.
Tausch, N., & Hewstone, M. (2010). Social dominance orientation attenuates stereotype change in the face of disconfirming information. Social Psychology, 41(3), 169-176.