The film Crash presents people 'crashing' into one another's lives with varying beliefs and negative emotional attitudes, or prejudices. The formation of prejudice is revealed in many different ways; using ideas such as stereotyping, direct experience, the prejudiced personality, group and personal prejudice and scapegoating to convey a very strong message. The reduction of prejudice is also shown, through mutual interdependence and superordinate goals, sustained and inter-group contact and equality of status.
Stereotypes are common contributors to the formation of prejudice. In Crash, Jean is uncomfortable around two black men she sees, perhaps because of a negative stereotype she holds against them. Following this, Jean's car is stolen by the same men, a negative direct experience that reinforces the stereotype she holds.
This is demonstrated when later the same evening she is openly mistrustful of the Mexican man changing her locks with no evidence to suggest he is going to do anything wrong, 'you might mention that next time we'd appreciate it if they didn't send a gang member.'
Some theories suggest that prejudice is a form of scapegoating, or blaming people for something that they didn't do. When Jean is angry about her marriage, or feeling useless, she snaps at her housekeeper, Maria, scapegoating her because she sees her as a 'safe' target. Maria is Latina and unable to respond to Jean in the same way because she would probably lose her job. In scapegoating Maria, Jean lets out her anger on someone who she sees as lesser than herself and in this way justifies her actions through her prejudice.
The prejudiced personality, which refers to the tendency of certain people...