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Chapter 5 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination.

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1 Chapter 5 Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

2 Defining Important Terms Racism: Prejudice and discrimination based on a person’s background Sexism: Prejudice and discrimination based on a person’s gender Stereotypes: Beliefs that associate a whole group of people with certain traits. Prejudice: Negative feelings about others because of their connection to a social group. Discrimination: Negative behaviors directed against persons because of their membership in a particular group.

3 Persistence and Change In general, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are less acceptable than ever before. But exceptions do exist.

4 Racism: Current Forms and Challenges Research reveals that racial prejudice has been on the decline over the last several decades Re-election of Barack Obama was seen by many as significant sign of racial progress

5 Types of Racism Modern Racism: A form of racism that surfaces in subtle ways when it is safe, socially acceptable, and easy to rationalize Implicit Racism: Racism that operates unconsciously and unintentionally

6 Sexism: Ambivalence and Double Standards Blatant displays of sexism are less socially acceptable than in the past – But do continue to persist today Gender stereotypes are distinct in that they are not only descriptive, but also prescriptive – They tell people what they should do or be

7 Ambivalent Sexism Form of sexism characterized by attitudes about women that reflect both negative, resentful beliefs/feelings as well as affectionate and chivalrous but potentially patronizing beliefs/feelings – Hostile sexism – Benevolent sexism Seems to have diminished over time, but discrimination based on sex is still prevalent today

8 Being Stigmatized Being persistently stereotyped, perceived as deviant, and devalued in society because of membership in a particular social group or because of a particular characteristic.

9 Stereotype Threat Stereotype threat is the fear that one will be reduced to a stereotype in the eyes of others. How can stereotype threat hamper academic achievement? – The reactions to the threat can directly interfere with performance. – The threat can cause individuals to dismiss the domain as no longer relevant to their self-esteem and identity.

10 Social Categorization and Intergroup Conflict The classification of persons into groups on the basis of attributes In some ways, is natural and adaptive – Saves time and energy But can lead to overestimation of differences between groups and underestimation of differences within groups

11 Ingroups vs. Outgroups Strong tendency to divide people into ingroups and outgroups. Consequences – Exaggerate differences between ingroups and other outgroups – Outgroup homogeneity effect New research indicates that perceivers may actually process faces of outgroup members more like objects than fellow human beings Dehumanization has played a role in atrocities throughout history

12 Social Identity Theory Two Basic Predictions: – Threats to one’s self-esteem heighten the need for ingroup favoritism. – Expressions of ingroup favoritism enhance one’s self-esteem.

13 Culture and Social Identity Collectivists more likely to value connectedness and interdependence with people and groups around them Collectivists less likely to show biases favoring their ingroups in order to boost their self-esteem. But collectivists may draw sharper distinctions between ingroup and outgroup members. Socialization refers to process by which people learn the norms, rules, and information of a culture or group – Includes stereotypes and status of groups

14 Gender Stereotypes Inundated with gender stereotypes from birth and through the life span – E.g., males more adventurous, assertive, aggressive, independent, etc. – E.g., females more sensitive, gentle, dependent, emotional, etc. Media Children begin to understand these stereotypes quite early – one study, by age of 2

15 Are Stereotypes Ever Accurate? What is meant by “accurate”? Stereotyping can often lead to self-fulfilling prophecies which further distort perceptions and realities

16 Confirmation Biases and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies Stereotypes are often maintained and strengthened through confirmation biases. – Tendency to interpret, seek, and create information to confirm expectations Stereotypes can cause a perceiver to act in such a way that the stereotyped group member really does behave in a stereotype- confirming way. – The stereotype creates a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

17 How Stereotypes Survive and Self-Perpetuate Illusory correlation: The tendency for people to overestimate the link between variables that are only slightly or not at all correlated. Tend to overestimate the association between variables when: – The variables are distinctive – The variables are already expected to go together


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