Some societies in which the dominant group gains economic or political advantage form prejudice against minorities and intentionally promote prejudice through laws and policy to gain a conformity in prejudice among its members. A key example was the Jim Crow laws of the American South that legally enforced racial segregation in the twentieth century. The laws sustained white dominance existing from the earlier days of slavery. Such laws create the appearance or illusion of inferiority of the minority such as black Americans.
The youth also learn by what they observe around them. Any form of treating groups differently in a society such as racial segregation in housing, church, or school adds further reinforcement to learned prejudices. Language can also create and reinforce prejudice with degrading terms such as "nigger" for blacks.
Prejudice And Discrimination: How To Overcome The …
Threats to a person or group can also lead to prejudice. The threat may be either real or imagined. Threats involve fear not only of physical violence, but the loss of material wealth or financial wellbeing. An example would be an economic threat from new immigrants arriving into a country where competition over jobs is high. Also if one group believes that another group is gaining in prestige, certain emotions such as anger or frustration may trigger prejudice toward that group. In these situations prejudice results from expectations that others could cause some kind of physical or financial harm. For example, in the nineteenth century, when thousands of immigrants came to America, xenophobia (the fear of strangers) was high. White protestant Americans hated the Chinese, Irish, Jews, and Catholics because they saw them as a threat to their livelihood and familiar way of life.
Sharing Stories: Prejudice Activity
The belief that it is acceptable. In towns, cities, business, and institutions people regard certain forms of prejudice and discrimination the norm.
Frequently Asked Questions - Project Implicit
Whatever the nature of the threat, fear is a major cause of prejudice. Fear often comes from the unknown, or ignorance (lack of knowledge) about something or some group. If ignorance causes fear and fear causes prejudice, then it may be assumed that increased knowledge or information, such as meeting the feared group, would lead to less fear and, as a result, less prejudice. However, this is not always the case. Certain conditions about the kind of contact between groups must be met for prejudice to actually decrease. For example, the contact must be positive between groups or individuals and they must be of relatively equal social status. They should share common goals and have little competition between them over resources. The contact should also be supported and encouraged by government authorities of some sort. Though prejudice is a deeply ingrained part of a person's character, it is a habit that can be broken.
Jane Elliott's Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes Exercise
I know people who have developed a hatred for themselves having been subjected to prejudice and discrimination for traits they have no control over.
In some places around the world, racial hatred is increasing
Hostility toward Japanese Canadians both before and during the Second World War was sustained, widespread and intense, especially in BC. Waves of anti-Japanese sentiment swept BC in 1937-38, 1940 and 1941-42. The assault by Japan on Pearl Harbour ignited violent hostility toward Japanese Canadians. In February 1942 the federal government ordered all Japanese to evacuate the Pacific coast area. Some 22,000 Japanese Canadians were relocated to the interior of BC and to other provinces, where they continued to encounter racial prejudice. The government sold their property to preclude their return at the end of the war. By 1945 the government was also encouraging Japanese Canadians to seek voluntary deportation to Japan, and after the war these deportation plans proceeded. Pressure from civil rights groups finally led in 1947 to the elimination of the deportation orders, partial compensation for property losses, and in 1949 an end to the restrictions that prevented Japanese from returning to the coast. (See .)