Prejudice and Discrimination
Sub-topics of Prejudice and Discrimination
- Types of prejudice
- Social identity: in-groups and out-groups
- Working to reduce prejudice
You will choose one sub-topic from this topic for your Learning Journal.
You do not need to do this until you have explored all of these sub-topics.
These sub-topics are covered in your textbook:
These sub-topics are also covered in Lecture Topic 7 – Prejudice and Discrimination.
To complete this Workbook and participate in the tutorial you will need to refer to the following:
- Learning Guide;
- Lecture on Prejudice and Discrimination;
- Readings linked from this Workbook.
Relevant readings for these sub-topics are referenced under each sub-topic.
Important Note about Self-Disclosure
Tutorials 2, 3 and 4 contain some inventories (i.e. surveys or quizzes) that ask you questions about yourself (e.g. your self-esteem). These inventories yield scores, and interpretations of those scores.
You are not required to reveal your scores or to talk about them in tutorials if you do not want to. You may feel more comfortable talking about the scores in a more abstract way (e.g. people with high or low self-esteem), which is perfectly okay.
Tutorials also cover sensitive topics such as prejudice and discrimination and students are likely to feel strongly about some of the issues raised.
Students are to show each other respect when discussing sensitive topics in class or online.
If any of the inventories, or your scores or discussions cause you concern, you may wish to contact student support counselling services on: 9852 5199, or call lifeline on: 131114 or beyond Blue on: 1300224636.
Note that while this workbook provides structure for your preparation and learning, your tutor may not cover all exercises or discussions contained in this workbook. Tutorial content will depend on available time and student engagement with particular sub-topics and mode of study (i.e. on-campus or online).
Reflection(Learning Journal) 2
Write down any questions you want to ask about Reflection: Learning Journal 2.
Have your questions been already answered in the vUWS Discussion Forum on Reflection (Learning Journal) 2? Can you find answers in the Learning Guide?
Prejudice & Discrimination – Introduction
This section is to start your thinking about prejudice and discrimination.
It is part of your tutorial preparation, so this section should also be completed prior to your tutorial.
This section is not a sub-topic, so should not be used as such in your Reflection (Learning Journal) 2. The sub-topics for this tutorial are listed on the previous page.
Complete the following (you can use the lecture on Prejudice & Discrimination for this):
Have you ever been judged with a stereotype? If so, how did it feel?
This section is optional – you do not have to complete it prior to your tutorial.
It is for interested students.
Although this article was published in 2005 and reflects the policies of the Howard Government, ‘asylum seekers’ remains a hot political topic. Many of you would have seen the Go Back to Where You Came From program on SBS and other similar programs and have followed the political debates and discussions.
It is still the best Australian article on how ‘false beliefs influence prejudice.
The authors state that the foundation of prejudice is ‘false beliefs’ and give some examples. Write down some false beliefs about asylum seekers. You may use the examples given by Pedersen et al. (2005), or write down others that you know.
What is ‘institutional racism’ (refer to your textbook or lecture 7)
Give an example of institutional racism.
Do you think that Australia is a tolerant multicultural society?
Many of you have heard about ‘fake news’ or ‘alternative facts’. As we know, attitudes such as prejudice are based on knowledge or beliefs. How do you think ‘fake news’ contributes to ‘false beliefs’ and prejudice? Can you think of an example?
“Fake news” or yellow journalism contributes much to the creation of false beliefs as well as prejudices (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017). They influence the thought process of the individuals and many people often take the various fake news for reality itself. Therefore, they contribute to the process of blurring the line between reality and the un-real (Allcott & Gentzkow, 2017). It is very difficult to distinguish between the two and therefore many people get foxed by them. Some of the fake news, appear so real that people even start acting on them and get biased the news which are actually genuine or real. A common example of this is the news about Drew Doughty of LA Kings, who was recently reported by a fake ESPN site, to have near-magic powers (Cain, 2018).
Sexism, is one of the most common aspects on the basis of which individuals face prejudice in society. For example, traditionally women are considered as the weaker sex and therefore they are barred from jobs or opportunities, which require hard labour or the display of physical strength.
Some people face prejudice even on the basis of their sexual orientation.It is seen that the members of the gay community do not get equal job as well as educational opportunities as compared to the straight people.
The colour of the skin is another factor, on the basis of which, people commonly face discrimination. It is a common concept that the white skinned people are the only descendents of the pure Aryan race. Therefore, it is a commonly experienced phenomenon that the coloured people do not get the same amount of opportunities as the people with white skin get.
Nationality is another factor, on the basis of which, the people face discrimination. It is a commonly observed phenomenon that the people from the third world and specially the Muslim countries faced more amount of prejudice than the people from the first world countries. Many countries have more stricter visa rules as well as strict checking guidelines for the people belonging to the third world and specially the Muslim countries.
Prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation
Read Myers & Zinkiewicz (2016, p. 192), Myers (2013, p. 180), or Myers (2010, pp. 174).
Your sexual orientation is none of our concern and you may decide to answer the questions below or not. The point is that questions that might be asked (or thought) of gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual people to justify their sexual orientation are rarely asked of heterosexual people. These are questions for heterosexual people, designed to raise awareness of the prejudices surrounding sexual orientation.
What do these questions tell you about prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation?
Normalcy is just a concept innovated by people to maintain the sexual power balance in the society. William Shakespeare wrote in the sonnet number 144,”One’s angel is another’s hell”. Therefore, it can be said that the concept of “normal” is too broad as well as stereotyped. People are often categorised on the basis of their sexual preferences ("advocatesforyouth.org", 2018). However, it is interesting to note that the heterosexual people upon the homosexuals as abnormal and vice versa. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that the concept of normalcy is just a facade. The above provided questions clearly indicate the prejudice faced by the people who dare to drift away from the line of “normalcy” and the resultant stigma as well as lack of opportunities faced by them. It is to be noted that in this world normalcy means living by the age-established rules like having a good paying job, if you are a guy then you should prefer a girl and vice versa and various other things. However, the changing status quo of the world clearly indicates that it is just not enough to hold on to the traditional rules of normalcy. It is time that the society should broad its outlook and consider the people belonging on the other side of the line of “normalcy” as normal itself.
Read Myers & Zinkiewicz (2016, pp. 199-201), Myers (2013, pp.188-191), or Myers (2010, pp. 181-184).
Now that you have done the questionnaire, did it tell you anything you didn’t know? The online questionnaire allows you to compare your results with those of others. Reflect on how you compare on the two scales (hostile and benevolent). You can also do comparisons with other countries – what did you discover? (If you are good at ‘snipping’ or cutting and pasting, you could insert your results here.)
The result of the online survey told me that I was a benevolent kind of person and lesser on the side of hostility ("advocatesforyouth.org", 2018). The result of the survey did not provide me with any new kind of information ("advocatesforyouth.org", 2018). The comparison of the result with the people of United States revealed the fact the compared to the people of United States, I was more hostile on the Ambivalent Sexism Scale.
Have you experienced or seen any behaviours that could be classed as ambivalent or benevolent sexism? Describe them here. This may form the basis for a discussion in your group forum.
There is no particular incident related to me that I would call as an example of hostile sexism. However, I would like to mention an incident, which now I think might be an example of hostile sexism. A week ago, while going to school, I noticed that a man was trying to be over-chivalrous. The woman kept on saying that she did not require his help and she can manage on her own but the man kept on saying that it was his duty as a man to help a woman. At that point of time, I thought that it was completely natural, however, now when I look upon the incident in the light of the knowledge about the concept of “hostile sexism”, I would say that the man by trying to help the woman was just trying to assert his masculinity and suppress her femininity.
Provide definitions, using your own words as much as possible, for the terms below. Writing definitions in your own words is practice in paraphrasing: an essential skill for university writing.
“Social Identity”, can be defined, as the concept by means of which the various entities within a particular group are able to identify themselves within the group through their perceived notions of identity within the group (Jenkins, 2014). In the words of Tajfel (1979), the concept of social identity provides the members of the group with various important features like notions of pride as well as self-esteem.
The concept of in-group in the genre of sociology as well as social psychology can be defined as the social group to which an individual or a person feels psychologically connected or identifies himself as a member of that group (Jenkins, 2014). The concept was made popular by Henri Tajfel and is often considered to be an important part of the social identity theory (Jenkins, 2014).
An out-group can be defined as the group with which an individual or a person do not feel connected with or does not identifies himself or herself psychologically as a member of that group(Jenkins, 2014).
“In-group bias” can be defined as the bias which the members of a group face from the colleagues or other members of the same group (Jenkins, 2014). The bias can be a result of various factors like sex, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and various other factors.
Out-group homogeneity effect
The concept of out-group homogeneity, can be defined, as the process or the effect by means of which the members of an out-group feel that their perceptions as well as ideas are more dissimilar to the other members of the out-group than with the members of the in-group (Jenkins, 2014). In other words, the effect, can also be defined, as the process by means of which the members feel that they are more diverse in comparison to the members to the in-group.
Use the terms above to discuss the following topicsin tutorials. Write down any ideas or examples that relate to your experiences, to create notes for your Reflection (Learning Journal) 2.
In your examples, you may use actions by your own group, or actions of members of another group towards yours. You may also use examples from recent social events that you have read about or seen in the media, in addition to or instead of your own experience, such as clashes between racist and anti-racist groups as described by Elder (2015). The link to the Elder article is given in the reference, shown below in both APA and Western Sydney University Harvard styles.
Which of your ‘in-groups’is or are the most important to your social identity, and why?
I would like here to cite our own class as the example of the “in-group”, where the concept of diversity as well as likeness among the various students or social entities is most prominently visible. I would like to cite the examples of our general disagreements over several points whenever we have to work in groups or perform any activity as a single entity. During such instances, I think all the important aspects of the process of in-grouping comes out most prominently to the forefront. However, I would like to comment that inspite of our general disagreements of opinions each one of us feels psychologically connected with one another and I would also like to say that the group is what provides us with our social identity. Also, each one of us feels special pride in part of this group as it contributes to our social identity.
Have you seen or experienced any in-group bias?Was this towardsone of your groups, or to another group? What was it, and what happened?
I would say that as such there have not been any major instances of in-group bias in the group. However, during the initial days it was seen that the students were very reserved and did not interact with each other. A particular instance of this was the fact that the boys of the class initially did not interact much with the girls of the group and vice versa. However, with the passage of time and with the active support of our teachers this bias was overcome and I proudly say at this point that presently there are no major bias that our group faces.
Have you seen or experienced any examples of the ‘outgroup homogeneity effect’? What were they and what happened?
There are no particular instances of “out-group homogeneity effect” in the group. However, during the initial days, it was seen that the students as they were not much familiar with each other felt that they were diverse in nature from each other and not at all alike. It was however, seen that with the passage of time as well as the active support of our teachers this effect was overcome and the students got to know each other in a more better way they were able to feel psychologically a part of the in-group.
Were there any prejudice or discrimination associated with any of your examples? If so, what was it, and why did it happen?
The only prejudice or discrimination, which was associated with the example provided was the bias on the basis of gender which was initially very prevalent in the group. However, this was in the initial days and with the passage of time as well as the active help of the teachers this was overcome. The various activities as well as team tasks also helped in overcoming this discrimination.
Working to reduce prejudice
The readings you will use inthis subtopic are Nelson, Dunn and Paradies (2011), Plous (2000) and Western Sydney University (n.d.). Referencing format information is below.
Nelson, JK, Dunn, KM & Paradies, Y 2011, ‘Bystander anti-racism: a review of the literature’, Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, vol. 11, no. 1 , pp. 263-284, viewed [insert the date you accessed the link here, e.g., 21 February 2016], Wiley Online Library, DOI10.1111/j.1530-2415.2011.01274.x.
Plous, S 2000,‘Responding to overt displays of prejudice: a role-playing exercise’,Teaching Psychology,vol. 27, no. 3, pp.198-200.
Western Sydney University n.d., Bystander anti-racism project, viewed [insert the date you accessed the link here, e.g., 21 February 2016], <https://westernsydney.edu.au/challengingracism/challenging_racism_project/our_research/bystander_anti-racism>.
Pedersen, A., Clarke, S., Dudgeon, P. & Griffiths, B. (2005). Attitudes towards Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers: The role of false beliefs and other social-psychological variables. Australian Psychologist, 40(3), 170-178. doi:10.1080/00050060500243483
Pedersen, A, Clarke, S, Dudgeon, P & Griffiths, B 2005, ‘Attitudes towards Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers: The role of false beliefs and other social-psychological variables’, Australian Psychologist, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 170-178, viewed 13 November 2013, Wiley Online Library, DOI10.1080/00050060500243483.