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Chapter 1


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Dwayne Pare

Chapter 1 Introduction to the study of stereotyping and prejudice Logical analysis of intergroup hostility suggests that there is no rational basis for disliking others simply because they belong to another groupIngroup favoritismnegative attitudes toward members of other groups remain pervasive aspect of human society todayImportance of study of prejudicestereotyping o Need to understand negative influence such thinking has on thoughts feelingsbehaviour of people in their daily liveshow they relate to the targets of their prejudice o Important to understand that such negative attitudes form basis for subsequent negative intergroup behaviour o All of historys wars battlesother acts of group violence have been driven by some form of prejudice stereotyping andor discrimination ie Spanish Inquisition American Civil war American Slave trade Holocaust genocide in RwandaYugoslavia intergroup prejudice led to unparalleled bloodshed o Some of the most intense intergroup hostility has been based on difference in religious beliefsCatholicsprotestants in Northern Ireland have engaged in battles among themselveso Overt expressions of racial prejudiceintergroup hatred have declined dramatically while racial prejudicestereotypes have not disappearedo Virtually any group racial age gender religious etchas been object of prejudicesstereotypes by other groups or individualo p3 examples of actions driven purely by prejudice o Motivations why situationscontext when individual differences and traits whoaffective and cognitive processes how that lead to stereotypingprejudice examined in this chapter o Its not the case that people can simply decide to not use stereotypes Defining stereotyping Lippmans StereotypeWord stereotype originally derives from a term describing a printing process in which fixed casts of material are reproduced o Term was adopted by social scientists when journalist Walter Lippmann used word stereotype to describe tendency of people to think of someone or something in similar termsthat is as having similar attributesbased on a common feature shared by each o Lippman said we all have pictures in our heads of world outsidethat these representation more like templates into which we try to simplify the sometimes confusing information we receive from the worldLippmann was accurate in his speculation about the origin of stereotyping when he wroteWe pick out what our culture has already defined for uswe tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture Stereotypes tell us what social info is important to perceiveto disregard in our environmentThis process tends to confirm preexisting stereotypes by paying attention to stereotypeconsistent infodisregarding info thats inconsistent with our stereotypesSubsequent research has showing thatthe content of stereotypes is largely determined by culture in which one livesStereotyping form bad to neutral There a number of ways that researchers have defined stereotype over the decades Though Lippmann did not express any particular evaluation of the nature of stereotyping researchers soon began to regard stereotyping as a very negative lazy of perceiving social groupsstereotyping was seen as an outward indicator of irrational nonanalytic cognition Many researchers characterized stereotypes as examples of rigid thinking while many regarded stereotyping as an external sign of the stereotypers moral defectivenessResearchers began to move away from the inclusion of assessments of morality or correctness of the stereotype or stereotypesAllport defined stereotype by writing thata stereotype is an exaggerated belief associated with a categoryOther scientists presaged the socialcognition revolution movement in social psychology in that they argued that stereotyping ought to be examined as a normal psychological process The socialcognitive Definition In early 1970s with birth of social cognition researchers came to regard stereotyping as rather automatic process of categorization that many cognitive and social psychologists believe is inherent in very nature of the way humans think about the world Brigham 1971 defined stereotyping asa generalization made abouta group concerning a trait attribution which is considered to be unjustified by an observero Problem with 2nd part of this definition a stereotype is any generalization about a group whether an observereither member of stereotyped group or another observer believes it to be justified or noto By definition generalization bound to be unjustified for some portion of the group memberso Question of justification of stereotype synonymous with question of accuracy of stereotype HamiltonTrolier 1986 defined stereotype as cognitive structure that contains perceivers knowledge beliefsexpectations about a human groupo Definition to broad to accurately to capture true meaning o Along with stereotype being an association bw groupones beliefs about the group definition also includes ones knowledgeexpectations about a group
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