Challenging Prejudice

How much of prejudice is in human nature and how much of it is influenced by our surroundings? How much control do we really have over our emotions, attitudes, and beliefs toward a specific group of people? Are our attitudes ingrained in us and difficult to alter, or can we change them easier than we are led to be believe? These questions are very intriguing to ponder, and interesting when applying them to yourself and the social world.

To illustrate, let’s say a waitress, Shannon, is talking with some coworkers and the stereotype of black men being attracted to overweight white women comes into conversation. After the conversation’s ended, Shannon waits a table where there is a black man sitting with an overweight white woman. So, this triggers and reiterates the stereotype in Shannon’s mind that black men are attracted to white women. She does not stop to think that perhaps these 2 people are friends that have no attraction to each other, or maybe they have been dating for years and the white woman had just recently gained the weight and the black man has no attraction to the extra weight whatsoever. So, obviously there are many other possibilities to consider when seing a black male and heavyset white female together other than a physical attraction. This is just one example of how one can challenge their generalizations by considering more personal standpoints, instead of succumbing to the stereotypes that are a much easier, more ignorant path to follow.

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One Response to Challenging Prejudice

  1. redheadederin says:

    There’s a really good book called “Are We Born Racist?” that you might be interested in checking out, which explores this issue in-depth.
    Also, with the hypothetical Shannon, the reason she would assume the two to be romantic partners is because of how our culture tells us to view men and women together; we assume men and women who are socially active together are dating, So, much of HOW she perceives things are through the American cultural lens.

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