Prejudice

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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rs of other races or ethnicities as enemies. This is called the realistic conflict theory. So what started out as economic competition turns into hate and prejudice.

Another origin of prejudice is social categorization. Everyone in the world tends to divide their social interactions into two categories: "us" and "them". We base our distinctions on many things such as race, religion, and ethnicity. We see people in two ways: a member of our own group (in-group) or as a member of another group (out-group). The in-group out-group perception of differences has created much hostility and many conflicts. Some groups have tried to exterminate entire societies. Right here in America, white settlers wiped out nearly all the tribes of Native Americans. In Nazi Germany, millions of Jews were murdered. This extreme prejudice is still happening in our world today. An ethnic war is occurring right now in Kosovo.

Many psychologists consider prejudice one of our world's biggest problems. " "What other ways can prejudice arise?" "Well son, it may be taught to others. Prejudice can be learned. It is taught by everyone around you - friends, teachers, the media, and even your Mom and me. Children like you are very impressionable. I know you want to grow up and be just like good old Dad, and I need to set a better example.

The last place I know where prejudice can come from is from stereotypes."