Prejudice: its causes,effects, and what we can do to curb it.
| Prejudice can be described as a biased form of opinion on a person/group/culture without getting to actually know it/them. It is usually based on gender, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, nationality, and race. Even though there have been multiple efforts to curb prejudice, it still remains. This leads to the question of if prejudice can be removed or if it is within us as people.
With all problem solving, to get to the solution, we must identify the problem. In this case, it will be the causes of prejudice. So far as I know, one of the driving factors of prejudice is ignorance. This is seen in regards to prejudice against people who have different sexual orientations from the societal norms. Because people are not fully educated about alternative lifestyles and practices, they usually act out in a multitude of ways but are usually expressed in two emotions. The first of which is by expressing disgust to show revulsion for their (people of alternative lifestyles) behavior as they (the people showing prejudice) feel it is not a societal norm. The second is anger which usually turns to violence to show that they feel insulted by the people with alternate lifestyles actions. These actions are usually done to shame people who do not fit into the idea of a normal society.
Another cause of prejudice I believe in is the feeling of superiority based upon social classes within societal structures. This can also be called as the "birds of a feather" syndrome. Some people do not want to mix with those who are of a perceived lower class. This is due to thousands of years of human society placing value upon status and implementing social systems to segregate people. For example, you will not usually find wealthy (in the financial sense) people living among the less wealthy or fraternizing with them. This can extend to inequality to other groups. An example of this is gender inequality
The third cause of prejudice I would like to nominate is misinterpretation. This is most prevalent in religious prejudice. This could also explain why there are many branches of a religion that got the source material from the same place but chose to interpret it in their own manner while shunning the other .As a result, this leads to some weird sort of self-righteousness that may result in a group believing that their beliefs are right and others are wrong and as a result, will act in a prejudice nature. This could also explain why some religions are looked down upon.
The fourth cause of prejudice I would like to nominate is insecurity. A group of people can potentially feel insecure about their role in society which would cause them to lash out. This was seen within the Segregation Act that was implemented by the Apartheid regime of South Africa. This cause is ironically a byproduct of the superiority complex that society can display, proving that prejudice can breed more prejudice
However, in my opinion, the most likely cause of prejudice is that it is simply an evolutionary tendency that we as people have. It is hardwired into us. So as long as people have their own thoughts and opinions, there will always be prejudice. There are some people who could understand the perspective of other groups but will still not like them. There are people who will hate just for the hell of it. It is just a matter of bias. This is proved by the existence of tribalism where groups of the same ethnicity fought one another. This was shown during the times of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade where it was said that slaves originally sold other FELLOW slaves. I mean how messed up is that?!? You are both in the same boat (pun intended) in terms of the situation but you still have the "rather him than me" mentality.
Most of the time, all these causes are mixed together with violent and catastrophic results. Civil wars, segregation acts, community shunning, genocides and many other atrocities have been the result of one form of prejudice or another.
Despite the large amounts of prejudice, it is still possible for society to eliminate prejudice. The advancement of social interactivity between different people of different origins and upbringings should prove this but the change has to start with us. When people have a healthy understanding of themselves and others (through knowledge), society will begin to gain perspective. When society gains perspective, it will become accepting of others. A combination of this will in turn decrease prejudice and allow us as a society to move forward the way we were meant to.
Hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading!