Do you believe that you are free of prejudice? After reading this chapter, which of the many factors that cause prejudice do you think is most important to change?
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1. Do you believe that you are free of prejudice?
Prejudice refers to a positive or a negative attitude or belief directed toward certain people based on their membership in a particular group. The root word of prejudice is "pre-judge." It is "a set of attitudes which causes, supports, or justifies discrimination. Prejudice refers to a tendency to "over categorize." Prejudiced people respond to others in a more or less fixed way (Farley, 2000:18, as cited in http://www.delmar.edu/socsci/rlong/race/far-02.htm, attached for convenience).
It seems fair to say that no one is 100% free of prejudice, because some prejudices might be unaware to us. We might have learned something as children (social learning) which is still part of our knowledge base. However, some people aim at being prejudice free; and, if they become aware of a prejudice, they quickly address it. However, other people believe that some groups of people are better than others (cognitive prejudice) and will treat these people based on what they believe to be true (an example might to "Immigrants should be sent home because they are taking all the jobs? or on their likes or dislikes (affective prejudice) (e.g. an example might be "All Burtons are not worth the time of day? An example of ...
This solution responds in some detail to the questions: Do you believe that you are free of prejudice? Which of the many factors that cause prejudice is most important to change?