Prejudice and Discrimination as Social Issues

Prejudice refers to the expression of certain feelings towards individuals based on their social membership. Conflicts and disagreements are the primary sources of war and murder cases reported in society. Prejudice and discrimination are the causes of human conflict, which explains why hatred exists in society to the extreme of bullying and killing one another. Most individuals have been victims of prejudice or discrimination in one way or the other.

The behavior follows political affiliation, sexual orientation, personal values, disability, gender difference, ethnicity, complexion, nationality, and other factors. During human interaction and when meeting other people for the first time, it is most likely that prejudice will occur following the stereotypes in the human mind. This behavior is characterized by hating and despising other people with no justification. The group generally informs the negative attitude towards an individual or people associated with the person. For example, the behavior can be perpetrated in schools, preventing other students from accessing the curriculum. This essay elaborates on prejudice and discrimination as social issues undermining humanity by reducing personal values.

Discrimination is commonly experienced due to human differences and diverse cultural, educational, religious, and geographical backgrounds. Human beings have unique characteristics in various fields, which is mostly the root cause of discrimination. It refers to the perpetuation of negative behavior or action towards a group of people or an individual. The primary basis of discrimination is race, sex, gender, or social class.

Human beings are diverse with differences that give them their identity. Some diversities are glaring, making it difficult for other people to accommodate, which results in prejudice. People from higher social ranks and powerful political influences express a negative attitude towards individuals from inferior classes. Additionally, prejudice is common when people do not understand a particular population’s cultural practices or ways of life. They ignore all the facts and truth about the group of people and base their arguments, attitudes, and stereotypes on prejudice.

Interaction with members of a diverse cultural background may expose the facts about that particular group and reduce prejudice. Strong bonds and social relationships are built through humane interactions, affecting bias and changing the negative attitude towards a specific group. If human beings learn how to accommodate each other’s differences and appreciate their diverse nature, they will establish a peaceful society with minimum or no crimes. Similarly, learning how to welcome strangers despite their backgrounds would promote a happy and healthy community with no discrimination. There is great power when people come together and bring synergy to transform society. However, the corroboration spirit is adversely deteriorated by prejudice and discrimination.

Social identity gives an individual an establishment and self-concept based on the involvement and membership of a particular population in the society. Individuals are assigned a sense of self-concept based on social class and group membership. At the same time, everyone has a social identity that might be different from the others. Diversification is likely to spark conflict and social unrest because each group thinks their beliefs are superior and should be upheld.

One community’s hostile actions exacerbate discrimination as well as negative attitude and behavior toward other people. Prejudice and despise of societal identity might result in social stratification which is retrogressive. Genocide and violence are brought about by the cognitive behavior of categorizing people on how we see them. The members of a particular class have similarities in behavior and actions. If the ideas of a particular community do not conform to those of their counterparts, conflict arises. Individuals’ categorization is a common source of prejudice, which puts the mentality of ‘them’ and ‘us’ in people’s minds.

Further, social comparison is a stage in human life that occurs when people in a particular community contrast themselves with others. The differences noticed between the two groups might be the source of rivalry among them. The onset of the conflict, in this case, is when one community feels superior to its counterparts. Competition and hostility between the two groups will result from different identities as they try to fight and protect what they believe is legally their entitlement. Prejudice and discrimination do not allow interaction between the two groups. Society turns chaotic because no one wants to lower their social identity to accommodate the other community. Racial and tribal wars are examples of social identity differences and negative attitudes between the groups.

In most cases, people in a particular group tend to think together. Moreover, they will compromise their individual ability to make fast, informed decisions. The group needs harmony and conformity during decision-making to find a way of handling a particular situation. Individuals with diverse opinions are not welcome to criticize group decisions. This explains why a community will unanimously agree to fight another group without considering the consequences of their action.

Moreover, stereotypes and prejudice inform group perceptions towards other societies. The group members do not take time to fetch more information or evaluate the consequences of another community’s intended action. In most cases, group action is directed by anger and frustrations.

Further, social behavior is influenced by the pressure in the group to move in a particular direction. They work unanimously, and they have conformity in all their actions and behaviors. Human beings naturally interact and engage themselves with groups of people with similar identities. The members pledge loyalty to their desired set and agree unanimously to follow a specific direction or address a particular group of people. Individuals who disagree with the communal ideologies are seen as traitors and enemies of the group’s development. Such behavior towards another community is the central propeller of conflict and disagreement in society.

In summary, prejudice and discrimination are common, and they are based on social identity and group membership in a particular community. Their extreme effects are aggression and violence, which are generally accompanied by significant losses—individuals who identify themselves with the specific use of group force to influence other people. The pressure applied while addressing rivalry eventually leads to injuries and property destruction.

Aggression is the verbal attack experienced when the two groups have differences that they cannot settle. The collapse can be massive and inhuman because the decision to attack the other party is an unreasonable behavior that is based on the community’s sycophancy. The individuals believe they are fighting for their rights while the other groups reciprocate for protection. Both parties are not willing to settle their differences amicably until there is mediation. Instead, they intensify genocides and racial wars to overthrow rivals and maintain their superiority. Social identity and uninformed group behavior are the epitomes of violence and aggression towards a particular group.

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