Prejudice: Its Social Psychology

Prejudice: Its Social Psychology

Prejudice: Its Social Psychology

Prejudice: Its Social Psychology

Synopsis

This new edition of Prejudice provides a comprehensive treatment of the subject, introducing the major theoretical ideas as well as providing a critical analysis of recent developments.
  • Takes a social psychological perspective, analysing individual behavior as part of a pattern of intergroup processes
  • Covers the major research, including classical personality accounts, developmental approaches, socio-cognitive research focussing on categorization and stereotyping, prejudice as an intergroup phenomenon, and ways to combat prejudice
  • Illustrates concepts with examples of different kinds of prejudice drawn from everyday life
  • Includes a new chapter on prejudice from the victim's perspective
  • Fully updated throughout, with expansion of the notions of explicit and implicit manifestations of prejudice

Excerpt

This is a book about prejudice: that state of mind, feeling or behaviour that involves some disparagement of others on account of the group they belong to. This is my second attempt to write about prejudice. The other was made fifteen years ago, when the first edition of this book came out. In the meantime there have been many significant advances in the social psychology of prejudice: new theories have been proposed; clever techniques for its measurement have been devised; we have begun to realize the important role that unconscious processes can play in its determination; we now focus not just on the perpetrators of prejudice but also on those who are its victims; and we know much more than we did about effective measures to reduce it.

I have tried to do justice to these developments in this second edition. In Chapter 1 I engage with current debates as to how exactly we should define prejudice. Chapter 2 contains now an enlarged discussion of personality theories of prejudice, reflecting the revival of interest in this approach in recent years. In Chapters 3 and 4 there is an expanded coverage of the still dominant socio-cognitive perspective on prejudice. I discuss there the critical role played by categorization (Chapter 3) – the cognitive foundation of all forms of prejudice. Categorization processes give rise to stereotyping (Chapter 4), one of the ways in which people make sense of, and justify, their social world. The study of how prejudice develops in childhood has also enjoyed a renaissance over the past decade, and I have expanded and revised Chapter 5 accordingly. Chapter 6, the theoretical heart of the book, analyses prejudice as an intergroup phenomenon stemming from groups’ material interests and perceptions of entitlement, deprivation and threat. Centrally implicated in all these intergroup relations are people’s identities as members of ethnic or religious groups, gender groups, and many others. Chapter 7 focuses on contemporary techniques for the assessment and measurement of prejudice. It has been extended to include the burgeoning topic of the relationship between conventional pencil-and-paper measures of prejudice and other, more implicit, indicators. Chapter 8, dealing with the effects of prejudice on its targets, is entirely new. It reflects a growing appreciation amongst social psychologists that we need to view prejudice in a wider, more dynamic perspective, in which both the perpetrators and their victims are kept clearly in the field of view. Finally, in Chapter 9 I offer the latest thinking on how we can combat prejudice. Here, too . . .

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