Classifying oneself to be the object of prejudice or discrimination has demonstrable, negative impact upon the individual (Dion, 2002). Prejudice is a mixture of preconceived beliefs and negative attitudes towards a certain group of people. Whereas discrimination involves physical action and unequal treatment towards a particular group. Research indicates prejudice and discrimination are more or less interchangeably, with altered referents and slightly different meanings (Zastrow, 2007).
Minorities have been the victims of prejudice and discrimination for many years (Dion, 2002). Certain minorities such as African American’s have been targeted and treated unfairly (Zastrow, 2007). For example, a Caucasian person can go into a store to shop without being followed or harassed however, an African American may not have the same experience. Throughout America in some instances Hernstein and Murray asserts that Caucasians are more intelligent, because IQ test demonstrate Caucasians average scores of 10 to 15 points higher than African Americans. Research revealed that those IQ test were racially imbalanced (Zastrow, 2007). American culture has been ambivalent, viewing race and ethnicity both as sources of pride, meaning, and motivation as well as sources of prejudice, discrimination, and inequality. Prejudice is a combination of stereotyped beliefs and negative attitudes (Markus, 2008).
Perceived prejudice and discrimination, under some circumstances, may help buffer or protect aspects of the self-concept for members of certain minority or subordinate groups, in some instances (Dion, 2002). These terms stem from ethnocentrism, which according to Zastrow, (2007) is defined as a set of beliefs that holds one’s own cul...
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Schriver, J.M. (2011). Human Behavior and Social Environment: Shifting Paradigms essential knowledge for social work practice (5th Edition). Needham Heights, MA: Peason A & Bacon.
Zastrow, C. H., & Krist-Ashman, K.K. (2007). Understanding Human Behavior and the Social Environment (7th Edition.) Belmont, CA: Thompson-Brooks/Cole.
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