Causes Of Prejudice By Vincent Parrillo

1578 Words7 Pages
Throughout our daily lives we are exposed to an innumerable amount of instances that help to shape the way we perceive our lives and our position in society. It is our responsibility as individuals to recognize these influences and to understand how we might be affected. Vincent Parrillo redefines prejudice and its causes in his essay ‘Causes of Prejudice’ he elaborates on the work of others to explain that prejudice is a complex phenomenon and the result of not only social issues but personal issues as well. In the essay “Framing Class, Vicarious Living, And Conspicuous Consumption” Diana Kendall presents the idea that the media intentionally uses its influence to create divisions in social class in her essay. She claims this influence causes…show more content…
Neither author writes their essay in a narrative form but through their examples and tone the audience can gain some since of empathy towards this topic. Parrillo’s essay is the least effective in establishing this emotional connection with the reader, although one could argue that the title ‘Causes of Prejudice’ begins to stir an emotional response from the reader even before they begin. He does give a few examples that engage readers emotions with when he discusses various cognitive beliefs individuals might hold as well as examples of how history is filled with people who has be able to justify their maltreatment of another group based off of some unchanging affiliation (505 & 507). Perhaps one of Parrillo’s better emotional appeals is his statement “Individuals do not live in a vacuum; social reality affects their states of mind” this view puts prejudice in a new frame for most readers and encourages thought into how they themselves might carry prejudicial attitudes affected by their own social…show more content…
‘Self justification involves denigrating a person or group to justify maltreatment of them’ (506). ‘ The poor are blamed for their problems; stereotypes of the homeless as bums, alcoholics and drug addicts, caught in a hopeless downward spiral because of their individual pathological behavior are omnipresent in the media’ (318). By continuously portraying those who have less than the socially accepted norm the media creates a climate in which those who are struggling to survive are dehumanized and this depiction creates a self justifying culture of prejudice against these people. ‘The media socializes us to believe that people in the upper class are much better than we are. The media also suggests that we need have no allegiance to people in our own class or to those who are less fortunate’ (316). ‘Research has found that people who extensively watch television have exaggerated views of how wealthy most American’s are’ (317). Parrillo defines frustration as a result of relative deprivation, or lack of resources compared to others in society and since the media promotes the idea that many Americans are living the economic stratosphere of the rich it is not surprising many Americans feel frustrated with their current socioeconomic position (510). Prepared with the knowledge of
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