Research published in , for instance, found that multicultural experiences could reduce cross-cultural prejudice. Prejudice is an attitude that can trigger abusive actions. Most sociologists define discrimination as action or a group of actions. Prejudice can lead to discrimination, but it is not the only factor in discrimination. A person can also harbor prejudices without discriminating, especially if they are mindful of their own prejudice and take proactive steps to counter it.
A prejudicial belief that seniors are slow, sick, or uninterested in learning new things can lead to discrimination. For example, a person charged with hiring at a company that prizes innovation may refuse to hire older workers.
When this attitude plays a role in many decisions, it can lead to systemic discrimination. A company that allows ageist attitudes to affect hiring may eventually have only young employees, or mistreat its older staff. Examples of prejudice can be found throughout history. Many groups have faced discrimination and oppression that stemmed from prejudicial beliefs.
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Some types of prejudice include:. Prejudice does not necessarily cause discrimination, but is almost always a factor. While legal segregation has ended, segregation remains a problem. For example, research shows that white people continue to choose segregated neighborhoods, and that they prefer to move out of neighborhoods that contain even small numbers of non-white residents. A study published in found that white people still believe that all-white neighborhoods are the most desirable. This segregation can reinforce and promote racist attitudes because people are more likely to prejudge people with whom they have little experience.
Therapists are not immune to prejudicial attitudes. Indeed, most schools offer therapists little training on the role of racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination in therapy. Prejudice can undermine the therapeutic process and harm clients. Some examples of how prejudice can affect therapy include:. Prejudice infects an entire society, but making change begins with changing individual minds and lives.
Mental health professionals who meet our membership requirements can take advantage of benefits such as:. Get Listed Login. Get Help Learn About. Prejudice and Discrimination. Overcoming Prejudice. Contents v Prejudice and Discrimination Overcoming Prejudice. Prejudiced Definition and Understanding Prejudice Understanding Discrimination Prejudice and Discrimination in History Prejudice and Discrimination in Therapy Prejudiced Definition and Understanding Prejudice Prejudice is often confused for discrimination, or with forms of oppression such as racism and sexism.
Understanding Discrimination Prejudice is an attitude that can trigger abusive actions. Prejudice and Discrimination in History Examples of prejudice can be found throughout history. Some types of prejudice include: Racist prejudices: Prejudice played a key role in supporting slavery. Beliefs about the inferiority of blacks, notions that blacks experienced less pain and fewer emotions, and racist ideas about the behavior of blacks were all used as justifications to support slavery. Likewise, ideas that indigenous and first peoples were lazy or regressive were used to take their land, kill them, and kidnap their children.
Fears that Japanese-Americans would be loyal to Japan instead of their home nation led to their imprisonment in concentration camps. Sexist prejudices: Sexist ideas about the intellectual and emotional inferiority of women were used to deprive them of the right to vote or own property for most of American history. The notion of female inferiority has also supported rape and domestic violence.
The Case for Reparations by Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
Ageist prejudices: Ageism can be directed at both young and old people. For example, prejudices against young people suggest they are uninformed, ignorant, or impulsive. This can be used to mistreat or ignore them. Prejudice against older people may be used to deny them employment, remove their autonomy, or even abuse them. Elder abuse remains common. Ableist prejudices: Prejudicial attitudes about people with disabilities remain common.
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For instance, some people mistakenly believe that all people with disabilities have caregivers or that disabilities make people weak or meek. This is often used to support discriminatory or unfair policies. For example, people with disabilities faced forced sterilization for much of American history. Beliefs that non-heterosexual people are less moral or less committed to family relationships figured prominently in the refusal to allow them to marry. Prejudice and Discrimination in Therapy Therapists are not immune to prejudicial attitudes. A therapist might underestimate the extent to which police killings of unarmed black people affect black mental health , or may be unaware of how high-profile sexual assault cases affect sexual abuse survivors.
As a rule, poor black people do not work their way out of the ghetto—and those who do often face the horror of watching their children and grandchildren tumble back. Even seeming evidence of progress withers under harsh light. In , the Manhattan Institute cheerily noted that segregation had declined since the s.
And yet African Americans still remained—by far—the most segregated ethnic group in the country. With segregation, with the isolation of the injured and the robbed, comes the concentration of disadvantage. An unsegregated America might see poverty, and all its effects, spread across the country with no particular bias toward skin color. Instead, the concentration of poverty has been paired with a concentration of melanin.
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The resulting conflagration has been devastating. One thread of thinking in the African American community holds that these depressing numbers partially stem from cultural pathologies that can be altered through individual grit and exceptionally good behavior. It is also wrong. The kind of trenchant racism to which black people have persistently been subjected can never be defeated by making its victims more respectable. The essence of American racism is disrespect.
And in the wake of the grim numbers, we see the grim inheritance. The suit dragged on until , when the league lost a jury trial. Securing the equal protection of the law proved hard; securing reparations proved impossible. Board of Education and all that nonsense. The Supreme Court seems to share that sentiment. The past two decades have witnessed a rollback of the progressive legislation of the s. Liberals have found themselves on the defensive. In , when Barack Obama was a candidate for president, he was asked whether his daughters—Malia and Sasha—should benefit from affirmative action.
He answered in the negative. The exchange rested upon an erroneous comparison of the average American white family and the exceptional first family. In the contest of upward mobility, Barack and Michelle Obama have won. But that comparison is incomplete. The more telling question is how they compare with Jenna and Barbara Bush—the products of many generations of privilege, not just one.