Racism and Prejudice in America

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Prejudice is a destructive social problem. Theories of prejudice distinguish between old-fashioned and modern forms. The former is an open rejection of minority group members; the latter is subtle and covert, with a veneer of out-group acceptance. Prejudice is commonly defined as an unfair negative attitude toward a social group or a person perceived to be a member of that group. Racism is related to concepts such as prejudice, but it is a more encompassing term. In White Racism, authors Feagin, Vera and Batur explain, “Racism is more than a matter of individual prejudice and scattered episodes of discrimination” (p. ix); it involves a widely accepted racist philosophy and it involves power to deny other racial groups the dignity or opportunities that are available to one’s own group through a socially organized set of ideas and attitudes. Transformation of Prejudice The idea that prejudice in America has diminished seems idyllic. According to Whitley and Kite, prejudice continues through a more subtle form. They show this in a study of bogus pipeline research. This is the theory that participants responses change when they feel they will be caught lying. The participants may have been hooked to electrodes during the second round of questioning and told if their response was untrue, the electrodes would detect it. The participant is more likely to give a more accurate response (Whitely and Kite pg. 192). This is similar to implicit research of Chapter 2 in that assessment of self-reporting would indicate low prejudice but the participants would have psychological responses that indicate prejudice. An example of this would be emotional responses when shown a picture of the out-group. White Privileg... ... middle of paper ... ...rejudice but a similar percentage of Whites typically show evidence of racial biases on implicit measures that are largely dissociated from their explicit views. The report states, “Thus, a substantial proportion of Whites in the United States can be characterized as exhibiting reactions toward Blacks consistent with aversive racism.” (pg. 2) Cited Works: (1) McIntosh, Peggy. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, (2) Jim Crow Racism,, accessed November 3, 2013 Bibliography: Feagin, Joe R., Vera Hernan, and Batur, Pinar, White Racism, Rutledge, New York, 2001 Whitley Jr., Bernard and Kite, Mary E., The Psychology of Hate, Wadsworth, California, 2010 Pearson, Adam R., Dovidio, John F., and Gaertner, Samuel L., The Nature of Contemporary Prejudice: Insightsfrom Aversive Racism,
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