Prejudice and stereotyping are biases that work together to create and maintain social inequality. . In The social psychology of intergroup relations. theory of social identity and how important one's identity with a. Keywords: Identity; Prejudice; History textbooks; Stereotype; Underlying This article is a literature review of the notions of stereotypes, prejudices, self and other as .. The uneasiness in the relationship between ourselves and others, in as. prejudices, categorizations, stereotypes, social identity, etc. relation between me – the other one can be illustrated through a series of antagonistic pairs.
Prejudice and Stereotyping - Psychology - Oxford Bibliographies
How would you like to spend your life in the desert and never go to school? They have a number of gods, among them the moon, the rain and even the praying mantis [ No reference to the actual book is given. This is an example of overt stereotyping. Obviously today this is in no longer an acceptable discourse in South Africa and elsewhere, although there are some textbooks that have turned this around and have used a similar strategy to show what it is like to portray history from the perspective of the 'other'.
An example of this in the USA is to change a sentence like "Alone in the wilderness, the frontier family had to protect itself from wild animals and unfriendly Indians" to "while the people were trying to live, farm, and hunt peacefully in their homelands, they had to constantly be on guard against marauding and invading whites" Council on Interracial Books for Children, What tends to happen in more modern textbooks books is that authors focus on describing events rather than personal characteristics stereotypes.
Here is an example of this: All this changed when the Europeans came. This way readers are more free to make their own decisions. While overt stereotyping now seems easy to recognise, this is not always the case as stereotypes are often based on partial truths LaSpina, This becomes a real problem when covert stereotyping is used, which hides itself in the subtle yet powerful manipulation of language, as well as in adopting a selectively critical tone.
For example, ancient India respected "the creative power of women", although a wife was sometimes required to throw herself on her husband's funeral pyre. When non-European civilizations conquer new territories, the textbooks abandon their critical voice.
They express awe toward the ancient empires of China, India, Africa, and Persia but pay no attention to how they grew. Textbook after textbook tells the story of the 'spread' of Islam.
Christian Europe invades; Islam spreads p. These authors also note that the textbooks translate a reconciliatory discourse of political and social harmony into a discourse in which no responsibility is explicitly attributed to the perpetration of negative or violent events, for example through the use of nominalisations and the passive voice through which agents are absent: Stereotypes have a place and a function.
Children learn in school that life can be managed by ordering it into conceptual systems Johnsen, It should therefore not come as a surprise that included in this system of ordering and categorising is not only scientific,natural phenomena, but those relating to the wider field of the humanities as well. Some argue that it is also desirable. Stereotypes are patterns and images that reduce the complexities of a phenomenon to a few significant characteristics.
They portray reality as narrow, incomplete, and rudimentary. We constantly use stereotypes. This means that stereotypes are necessary for us to come to terms with knowledge and the necessity to act.
Stereotypes are therefore an important step in the early stages of understanding Schissler, Based on this reasoning, Schissler explains that, traditionally, textbook research was founded on the assumptions that by providing more accurate information about 'the other', and thus correcting 'wrong' stereotypes, children would move towards a more tolerant understanding of 'foreign' communities. This requires that the curriculum and textbooks must be jointly revised so that they are free of hate messages, prejudices and distortions.
For this reason it is important to study how prejudices and stereotypes come about, how the knowledge about them gets transmitted in the textbooksand what one can assume children will learn from them.Understanding the Difference Between Stereotypes, Prejudice and Discrimination
To put it another way: This approach is supported by Marsden Prejudices, like stereotypes, play a role in this understanding. As a rule, prejudices prove extraordinarily resistant to attempts to change: Although on the surface positive and negative images or stereotypes convey only 'information' about how one views one's neighbour, they in fact reveal more about one's own identity problems Schissler, For these reasons, textbooks are especially suitable for finding out not just what a society thinks of others, but also what it thinks about itself, since 'to perceive oneself is always to become aware of oneself in the eyes of others' Popitz, quoted in Schissler, The carrier of stereotypes is language and pictures in history textbooks.
Language has the capacity to construct reality by directing and limiting our thoughts, observations and expressions Vitra, The way historical events are absorbed into our consciousness is decisive as to their influence on present and even future actions Fritzsche, The historical concepts that such texts signify carry heavy value-laden burdens, often ignored in textbooks, which instead reproduce the concepts as if they were neutral, unproblematic mirrors of the past Vitra, An example of this is Montgomery's weighty argument that by not problematising the concept of 'race' in a any critical way, Canadian textbooks, although on the surface appearing to be 'raceless' through their attitude of tolerance and inclusion, in fact promote the dependency on race thinking as a natural phenomenon.
Underlying assumptions leading to a picture of ourselves and others Prejudices and stereotypes are built on certain perceptions that form an underlying assumption to how one sees and writes about the world. Examples of such assumptions include the notion that parliamentary democracy is something positive Bourdillion, The point is that assumptions change over time and hence they need to be constantly identified and consciously upheld.
The phrase 'underlying assumptions' needs not automatically be equated with something negative or threatening; it only serves to show intellectual honesty and a kind of humility about the limitations of our own ability to know and interpret history. It comes from a preface of a Scandinavian social studies textbook for grade 5 pupils: This textbook is not in itself history. Nor is it in itself geography. It is only one of millions of books written on these subjects.
And the books are written by different people who in turn have read what others have read and written. Imagine a stage so deep that no one can see where it ends. And the stage is placed in a setting so vast that no one can see all of it. In front of it all hangs a curtain that stretches all the way to heaven.
No one can remove that curtain. But it is possible to pull it aside a wee bit and get a glimpse. This textbook is just such a glimpse Johnsen, This textbook thus makes no pretentious claim that by reading it the world can be changed for the better.
The underlying assumption is that the book is limited and that if a reader wishes to see more depth of the stage or to pull the curtains wider, he or she would have to exert some personal effort that goes beyond this particular textbook. What is important to establish is whether underlying assumptions are based on ignorance or whether they are in fact qualified Fritzsche, This is important since it is very possible to replace one set of values based on ignorance or insecurity with another.
Thus the question is whether textbooks themselves - consciously or not - do not present and promote prejudices and stereotypes and the answer to this will depend largely on the categories of analysis and the criteria on which the evaluations are based Fritzsche, Hence the method of text analysis and the theory that informs it must be a crucial part of such research. For forming themes in textbook research, Fritzsche For example, Kitson This problem is exacerbated in South Africa, where the world of schooling is characterised by a mismatch between the world of young peoples' identities and values, and those of their teachers' Fataar, cited in Weldon, Teachers and other educators who write textbooks are part of the apartheid generation and grew up with racism and abuse of human rights as fundamental organising principles of every aspect of their lives, whereas young peoples' identities are shaped by consumption choices about music, clothes and sexual activities.
This consumption culture is more powerful than race in influencing choice so that race as a crude form is not as visible or dominant as it used to be Weldon, Whatever the case, knowledge production and representation in the form of textbooks should try to avoid substituting one set of simple solutions, one polemic, one propaganda, for another Gwiazda, in Stern-Strom, Moreover, perceptions of 'the other' and the relationship between 'the other' and 'the self' is at the heart of multi-perspectivity Stradling, Thus textbook research in history should pay attention to this problem by asking what the possibilities are of replacing one set of problems with another by examining how the relationship between 'us' and 'them' is portrayed.
The uneasiness in the relationship between ourselves and others, in as much as it is coloured by prejudice and stereotype, stems from a simple principle and appears to have a simple cure: In proportion as we love truth more and victory less, we shall become anxious to know what it is which leads our opponents to think as they do.
We shall begin to suspect that the pertinacity of belief exhibited by them must result from a perception of something which we have not perceived. And we shall aim to supplement the portion of truth we have found with the portion found by them. Herbert Spencer, First Principles,quoted in Dance, In the next section I want to focus on this uneasy transition.
Understanding "the other" as a liability? Stereotype and classifications based on differences can be understood as a necessary tool for making sense and being in control of the world, but they can also be understood as a rationale for building unjust societies.
Most often 'unjust' from a sociological perspective is linked to anything external and collective like capitalism, socialism, Christianity, or colonialism 1as opposed to something intra-psychological, like individual selves.
For example, Godrej asserts that our societies are built around competition rather than cooperation, which, accordingly, necessitates a continual reinvention of racism. This is an example of how 'injustice' is often linked to a Marxist type foundational principle that people's material or external conditions determine their consciousness, and not, as Eberhardt found in scientific, research, that it is people's thoughts about themselves that determine their behaviour and thus their reality. While not denying the power of societal structures, I argue that understanding and identifying the perspective of another can only be achieved by having a critical look at one's own moral conceptions or positioning.
Therefore, by critically looking at oneself, one can narrow the conceptual gap between 'us' and 'them', but this is uncomfortable since it can show up characteristics in the self that are often rather not noted.
Yet it is an essential feature of history's alleged ability to "change the world for the better.
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This points to a seemingly obvious fact that the gap between 'us' and 'them' is small since "the capacity for good and evil is distributed across human societies, among all racial and ethnic groups and across gender as well" Ravitch, Hence any externalisation of negative moral behaviour, such as infringing on human rights or treating people with hatred, to "society" or "the Americans" or "whites", or "the Colonialists" see Morgan, a: A study of teacher professional development programme by Weldon confirms that especially in South Africa, understanding the other as based on racial terms precludes any introspective processes that acknowledge personal responsibility for holding onto prejudices.
For example, she quotes a black 2 teacher saying that "I was not always aware of my own prejudices prior to my participation in this project. I always saw myself as a victim of other people's prejudices and generalisations such as 'whites are racists' never bothered me.
But when Denis Goldberg [a white antiracist activist imprisoned with Mandela] told us of his involvement in the struggle against Apartheid I decided to re-look at how I view others" Quoted in Weldon, Weldon also notes how a white participant in the programme had to search "[his] own heart" and be "confronted with [his] own inadequacies" in order to move to reconciliation. This points to the need to face the troubling question of "is hate innately a part of human behaviour and experience?
If so, how can we change that within ourselves? Understanding the self must thus be foundational for understanding the other and it need not be a liability, as Sullivan, He argues that there is fine line that can tilt the balance whereby being informed can become a liability rather than an asset.
It assumes a kind of responsibility that comes with knowledge and awareness as we are forced to make choices that our state of ignorance did not have to confront. It means that we must face hatred head-on and this can best be done from a psychological perspective. I now turn to exploring this in some detail. In so many instances we do not hate people because of a particular deed, but rather do we find that deed ugly because we hate them" Historian George Mosse, quoted in Stern-Strom, Such an understanding immediately shifts the focus from the other to the self.
Because of these new conceptions of bias, there have also been methodological adaptations in the study of prejudice and stereotyping that move beyond the conscious attitudes and behaviors of individuals to measure their implicit prejudice and stereotypes as well. This article gives a quick tour through the social psychological study of prejudice and stereotyping to inform the reader about its theoretical background, measurement, and interventions aimed to reduce prejudice.
General Overviews There are several books and chapters that offer a broad view of the social psychological research on prejudice and stereotyping. There are two texts that are excellent for undergraduates. First, Whitley and Kite covers the general field of research on stereotyping and prejudice, providing an excellent primer for theory and research on the causes and consequences of prejudice and stereotyping.
Second, Stangor is a collection of key social psychological readings on stereotypes and prejudice. The key readings text is especially useful, as it can be assigned in sections for a general class or used in its entirety for a class specifically on prejudice. Beyond the introductory text and primer for key readings, though potentially unsuitable for undergraduate use, there are three chapters from the Handbook of Social Psychology that are useful for researchers who want to get an understanding of the progression of research and focus of current theory and research.
Although there is some overlap in the content of the three handbook chapters, each chapter makes a notably unique contribution that warrants their inclusion. Fiske provides a history and thorough review of influential perspectives on prejudice and stereotyping. Expanding on FiskeYzerbyt and Demoulin provides an additional in-depth perspective on theories of how groups are created and sustained. Dovidio and Gaertner focuses on the bases of group-based biases and provides a thorough consideration of theory and research on stereotype change and prejudice reduction.
Finally, in addition to the aforementioned chapters, Dovidio, et al.