PREJUDICE

Human beings are passionate creatures. Our passions drive us, give us a sense of belonging, and unite us as few other things can. Still, there are only a couple of passions that have been constanted down the ages, passions that people from every place and culture can agree on. Love is one, but another is PREJUDICE.

What is prejudice? A prejudice is a preconceived belief, opinion, or judgment toward a group of people or a single person because of race, social class, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, political believes, religion, line of work or other personal characteristics, It also means a priori belief (without knowledge of the facts) and includes “any unreasonable attitude that is usually resistant to rational influence”. Although positive and negative prejudice both exist, when used negatively, prejudice implies fear and antipathy toward such a group or person.

In sociologist’s point of view, they term prejudice an adaptive behavior. Have you ever notice your feeling toward a person in the first meeting? Like? Dislike? Hate? Did you start to form some unrational evaluations about that person? If the answer is “yes”, it means you have some prejudice about him/her. In this situation, prejudice is used as mental shortcut to warn us away from liars, cheats and other no good bastards. If anyone is hateful to you, you never want to have any kind of business with them, do you? In my opinion, prejudice seems like a kind of intuition or sense. It tells you not to stay close to certain people who may become potential troubles or annoyance (it sounds a bit subjective huh? ^^).

Scientists started getting seriously interested in prejudice just after the Second War World. And through their studies, they found out some considerable results. Have you ever thought that people use prejudice as a way to make them feel better? The answer is that it is possible. In 1997, Steven Fein and Steven Spencer carried out an experiment. They used a résumé and photo of a job candidate, made some subtle alterations in her name, hair style, activitives, affiliation, religion from the origin. One girl was named Julie and was a Jewish. The other’s name was Maria. Then, they had people rate how nice a person Julie/Maria was, and whether to recommend her for a job. However, before they completed the task, they were made to feel bad. The reseachers gave everyone impossibly hard logic puzzles, telling them that it was an important and widely used IQ test. Of course, most of the test-takers scored very badly. Do you want to know the result? Julie was given much worse reviews than her (otherwise identical) alter ego Maria. Interesting? Funny? And the reseachers discovered that dumping on the Jewish girl seemed to cause people’s self -esteem to recover from the humilliation of the impossible IQ test. In the other term, they used prejudice as a cruel shortcut back to equanimity.  If you pay enough attention. you will see that this kind of  situation usually happen around us. In chatting , people sometimes stab on the friends’, co-workers’, or even their wife’s/husband’s back (especially when they have just made you angry or disappointed). In philosophy’s view, it seems to be “if  life hands you lemons, pelt them at someone until you feel better”.

Now, we will analyze one more example to see if people creat prejudice on any other purposes.  Suppose that Sherif and Eagle are opponent teams. Imagine taking  to one of Sherif’s member. He could probably tell you that Eagles are jerks, liars and cheats. He would tell you that they are stupid and tricky. You might ask “How do you KNOW they are stupid?”. “Easy, ” they would said, “because they are”. You may think that speaking ill to each other like that is not fair play. But in this case, they only try to use prejudice to make their group more cohesive. Does it make sense ? Yes, it does. Humans have clumper together since prehistoric times for protection, and that impulse still runs strong in us, especially when we face with a threat. When the United States was attacked on September 11th, 2001, people turn to each other for support. When your country is invaded, the same thing happens. There is a twisted yet compelling logic which says that if  people pull together in face of an enemy, and if pulling together is what you want, then what you really need ia an enemy.

In my opinion, human being is not only passionate but also amazing creatures. Through learning about physical  and mental, sentimental and behavioral facets of humans, we find more and more interesting things. And prejudice is one of wonderful aspect, which should be concerned and studied carefully.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prejudice

http://www.in-mind.org/issue-4/the-double-edged-passion.html

Huỳnh Thanh Hằng : BAUN09249

PS: I have not written blog before. And I also know that I am not good at Literature. So, I am very happy if you read and comment about whatever mistake in my entry. Your commennts are good lessons for me. Please comment.

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8 responses to “PREJUDICE

  1. Nguyen. T.T.Nhung

    helloooooo, i’m first one …lol so happy!
    ur writting’s very nice ,especially picture of hamberger ha ha ha. i love it . b/c i’m very bad at grammar and writting, i can’t comment anything about ur grammatical mistake . Sorry. and it’s seem too academic for me to understand PREJUDICE. Maybe the others will give you more useful comment than me. SEE YA
    P/S : u wear glasses right?

  2. Lê Nguyễn Quỳnh Tiên

    @__@ your writing is good. (or my writing skill is not good enough to find out a mistake :-p)
    Thank you for your interesting topic. Pictures are funny and suitable, too. ^^
    I love your last point, when people get stuck in a serious problem, they won’t have time to prejudice (OMG, still cannot type the key word correctly ==”) anymore.
    I really love your topic!!! I want to type more but I think you have mentioned all the things about prejudice. Don’t know what to say more 😀 Thanks again!

  3. Trương Thùy Linh

    I was really amazed @.@ 😀 Your entry is very informative and convincing! And I admire you that you did read that “The double edged passion”. It’s so long and full of words! I felt dizzy first time I saw it! 😛

    I really interested in the part which you said that “prejudice was used as a cruel shortcut back to equanimity”. I think it’s also explain the reason why people, especially women, tend to gossip about others while they have nothing to do or they are mad about something.

    Sadly, I find out that I usually use prejudice to judge people, too! 😛 Whenever I meet someone new, I don’t know much about that person so I try to get information about that person from the others. That’s prejudice, too, right? Cause if we want to know about a person, we must find out ourselves. We can’t use any shortcut to know a person, do you agree? Luckily, since I came to university, I have started to become lazy (as I always do :P) so I don’t try to know a person in that way anymore. Thank you for your wonderful entry, you have helped me to open my eye! 😀

    From what you said, I have a thinking that you are really interested in Social Science and have already studied a lot about it. I don’t know if I’m right or not, but I really admire your effort! I, in the other hand, like to study about psychology. But it’s just an another branch of Social Science, right? So hope that we can talk to each other one day. I think that we’ll have a lot to tell!

    Ah, by the way, I love the pictures! The second one must be about Michael Jackson, right? He has a sad life. Wish he rest in peace… The others are quite funny! Those foods are cute! 😀 The dog had such a funny face! It was indifferent in all of the pictures, but they were right. We are no different from animal in some aspects. 😛
    And don’t worry about your writing! You did a good job!
    I can’t say anymore cause as Tiên said, you did mention all about Prejudice! Your effort has pay you well! Congratulation!!! ;D

  4. Trương Thùy Linh

    Sorry, grammar mistake 😛 It must be “Your efforts have paid you well”.
    Have a good day then! 😀

  5. Huynh Thanh Hang

    The first thing I want to say that I’m very grateful you guys who have spent your time to read and comment for my entry. I’m really really grateful.

    Q. Tien: I’m sorry but I think that you have misunderstood one of my opinions about prejudice. You said “when people get stuck in a serious problem, they won’t have time to prejudice “. I intend to say that “people try to use prejudice to make their group be more attached to each other”. You know, if all the members in a groups think that the other groups are bad people, they will never want to leave their present group.
    I know that it is not your fault. I think I write that point not clearly enough. And, of course, it is easy to make you confuse. I’m very sorry about that.

    T. Thuy Linh: I think that jurging a person by others’ opinions is not prejudice. I think prejudice is the first thought about a person coming into your mind in the first time you meet or even the first time you see that person. But I don’t think your approaching way is wrong. You know, we are human. Most of the time we behave subjectively.

    I’m glad that all of you like my topic. I used to think that this topic is boring with you (but I like it). And my entry just mentioned a small part of studies about prejudice. You can find more information from other souces. I advice you refer them. you will find that human beings are really amazing creatures.

    Once more time I want to thanks all of you. Your comments are very useful for me and they also make my extremely happy.
    Thanks a lot!

  6. Lê Nguyễn Quỳnh Tiên

    ah, I see. Thank you ^^

  7. college student in NY

    I am currently doing a research report on prejudice and enjoyed your report tremendously. Well done! Are you a foreign student?

  8. Neat blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would
    really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got
    your design. Appreciate it

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