Prejudice and discrimination against minorities; comparison to Staten Island incident. Includes bibliography.

Essay by healwaysliedUniversity, Bachelor's December 2003

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When a person hears the word prejudice, he or she might think it only refers to the racial prejudice often found between those with light skin and those with dark skin. However, prejudice runs much deeper than a person's skin color. Prejudice is found among gender, religion, cultural and geographical background, and race. People have discriminated against others based upon such hatred. Our society is riddled with a strong sense of hatred based upon people's beliefs and origins, and it seems millions are fighting each other for no appropriate reason at all.

In David Popenoe's "Sociology," the author believes that the distinguishing characteristic of a prejudice is that it relies on stereotypes, which are oversimplified generalizations. He claims that when a person uses prejudgment, it consists of two elements - belief and attitude. The writer points out that in the belief part of a prejudice, a person may stereotype an entire group of people, objects, or situations.

While in the attitude part, he explains that an individual makes an assessment about the object of prejudice. Next, Popenoe states that there are positive and negative aspects of prejudice; however, prejudgment is usually harmful. He emphasizes that in can develop into a problem when someone does not change their mind about what they have been prejudice against, even after their assumptions are proved to be wrong. In addition, the author insists that the reason prejudice has become a major problem in our society is because people refuse to abandon all preformed judgments despite their knowledge of the fact that these things are untrue. Popenoe then discusses the origins of prejudice, touching on two causes - authoritarian personality, stemming from early influential environment. He describes authoritarians as being more likely to prejudice thinking than others because their primary focus is that all other...