Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination are all forms of bias that are responsible for the simplest and even ‘harmless’ societal acts of favoring a neighbor of one’s own race, class, creed or sex by inviting them over for dinner over another neighbor of a different race, class, creed or sex, to the most egregious crimes that humanity has ever witnessed like the holocaust that occurred during the Second World War.
As will be shown in this paper, there are various theories that explain these discriminative acts. The theories include social justification theory, ethnocentrism, social dominance theory, and system justification theory.
This paper will discuss these three concepts separately and their various sub-forms, and will conclude with a proposition concept that will offer a means of overcoming the aforementioned forms of biasness – stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination.
Stereotyping or a stereotype is an assumption or a conclusion reached by an individual concerning another individual or individuals or group of persons without the benefit of properly acquainting oneself with wholesome knowledge about the particular individual(s) or group of persons. Stereotyping arises out of an individual’s strong attachment to his or her in-group – the social group, for example family, or close friends towards whom an individual feels the highest attachment. An individual’s in-group makes the person feel secure and satisfies the individual’s need for belonging. An out-group on the other hand is a social group towards which an individual feels a sense of dislike and the individual views the group with contempt. Therefore, stereotypes serve to reinforce an individual’s unqualified opinion of another individual or group. Another concept that is significant in the understanding of stereotypes is the concept of illusionary correlation. This is the instance of an individual seeing a certain relationship between sets of information or groups even