A Different Look at Prejudice: A summary of "The Nature of Prejudice" by Gordon Allport in the textbook of "The Elements of Argument: A Text and Reader"

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A Different Look at Prejudice

The article, "The Nature of Prejudice", by Gordon Allport, provides four examples that show how human begins to be prejudiced against one another. In the beginning, Gordon uses a quotation from a student in Cambridge University to show ironic nature of prejudice. The second example about a conversation between an Englishman and an American further explains this irony. The Englishmen can directly point out the prejudice in Americans for unfair treatment towards colored people. However, the Englishmen are also prejudiced themselves without realizing that they are also treating Irish the same way that Americans are treating colored people (Allport 80). The writer then presents the third example about how an American walks on the street and the natives hold their noses till the American goes by. Gordon goes on to describe a relevant experiment that was conducted by a psychologist for analyzing the relationship between the odor and prejudice.

The results disagree with the expected relationship between the odor and prejudice. The last example deals with a short passage about Jews written by Saint John Chrysostom. Overall the passage portrays Jews as "lustful, rapacious, greedy, perfidious robbers" (Allport 81). The writer also points out that such passage is still used in the Orthodox Church these days. Through the four descriptive examples about prejudice, the writer offers his opinions about the basis of prejudice. Gordon concludes that prejudice is "being down on something that you are not up on". Without sufficient understanding, people tend to use generalized rationale to categorize things that are unknown to them. Lastly, he also discusses about the difference between the love and hate prejudice. "Love prejudice" is about thinking well of others, while "hate prejudice" is about thinking ill of others. Even though the author provides...