Explore BrainMass

Stereotyping, Prejudice and Discrimination

I need help on this question:

Is it possible to avoid stereotyping and how is stereotyping relates to prejudice and discrimination? Also, in what two ways can stereotyping be assuaged?

Solution Preview

(1) Is it possible to avoid stereotyping and how is stereotyping related to prejudice and discrimination?

Researchers have introduced a large body of information that addresses issues of prejudice and discrimination, and attitudes and beliefs that underlie stereotypes. Studies that have been presented focused explicitly on stereotypes in which ethnic groups in America are perceived differently. As the research suggests, practices of stereotyping and applying prejudice and discrimination to ethnic groups combine with power to form systems of privilege that impact these groups negatively. Because individuals hold preconceived notions and beliefs about others, it may be different to avoid the stereotyping of others. For instance, biased attitudes toward a specific group, or colorblind attitudes that provide for one group over another, are rooted in our society in the forms of institutional and societal racism. Moreover, according to Allport (1979 as cited in Brotherton, 2007), social prejudices are embedded in social mechanisms such as language that are then held and transmitted. Central to the perpetuation of prejudice and discrimination are prevailing attitudes and perceptions that persons may hold concerning specific groups. As social researchers suggest, stereotyping involves ways of differing from Eurocentric norms and challenging the underpinnings of a system grounded in privilege. For example, race has become one of the primary markers in which people were labeled and/or categorized in discriminatory ways. For instance, prejudice manifests in intolerance, segregation, fear and discrimination. The psychological assumption underlying stereotypes is that individuals have certain traits as members of a group (Richter, 1956).

Thus, individuals are perceived differently in both social and cultural categories and referred to as different. Richter(1956) defined a stereotype as a "Rigidly established proposition attributing a characteristic to all members of a category" (p. 568). Stereotypical beliefs were conceptualized in a ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses sterotyping, prejudice and discrimination, and how the impact of these factors can be assuaged.