Race and Ethnic Conflict: Contending Views on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Ethnoviolence

By Fred L. Pincus; Howard J. Ehrlich | Go to book overview

PART 2
Prejudice

One common problem for students is that words used by social scientists often take on a different meaning than the same words used in our everyday language. There are numerous reasons for this, including the need of sociologists and psychologists to share precisely the critical definitions of their theory. In informal discussion such precision is seldom necessary. However, for social scientists whose goal is to construct a theory of prejudice and to devise techniques of measuring prejudice, a high degree of specificity is required.

Students are sometimes further confused by the fact that different social scientists use different definitions of the same term. Again, there are numerous reasons for this, but the central reason is that different theorists want a concept to take on a meaning specific to their particular theory. This is what we do here. That is, we specify a definition of prejudice that is in common usage. For a review of definitions of prejudice, see Ehrlich ( 1973). The way prejudice is defined has some important implications for understanding the chapters that follow.

We define prejudice as an attitude toward a category of people. Note that we are not talking about an attitude toward a particular person. There is an obvious difference between hating your boss and hating all bosses. There is a difference between hating Salim because he is an obnoxious person and hating Salim because he is an Asian Indian.

Attitudes can be favorable or unfavorable, positive or negative. However, when we talk about prejudice, most of the time we are talking about unfavorable attitudes. Therefore we specify the direction of prejudice only when it is positive.

Quite obviously, the key to understanding the concept of prejudice requires understanding the meaning of the term "attitude." An attitude is an interrelated set of beliefs, feelings, and motivations about some object or class of objects. Beliefs, feelings, and motivations--all three are involved in an attitude; and all three are interrelated. To say a person is prejudiced against some group means that he or she holds a set of beliefs about that group; he or she has an emotional reaction to that group; and he or she is motivated to behave in a certain way toward that group. These components are all learned. We learn what people around us believe about a group. We learn how to respond emotionally to a group, and we learn how we should organize our behavior to that group.

Prejudice, then, is not something people are born with. One reason it looks that way is that beliefs about groups are learned very early. Children as young as three or four years of age often begin to learn the prevailing stereotypes of a group long

-61-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Race and Ethnic Conflict: Contending Views on Prejudice, Discrimination, and Ethnoviolence
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 466

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.