It is prejudice that I am concerned with and ways that you can reduce it in order to stop discrimination happening. To stop prejudice attitudes increasing we need to get rid of the idea of stereotyping people in a bad way. Below is a list of ways in which prejudice can be, and has tried, to be reduced.
? Enforced contactDeustch and Collins (1951) looked at two housing estate- one where black and white residents live separately and another where they lived together. The study showed that prejudice remained the same, or increased, in the separate housing, whereas it decreased on the estate where they lived together.? Legislated desegregationIn 1954, when the Supreme Court declared segregation unconstitutional in a case, Social Psychologists argued that equal status would be necessary to eliminate false stereotypes. It provided the opportunity for prejudices to be looked at but instead did little to change attitudes and aggravated racial tension.
? Psychotherapeutic techniquesThis is used to bring repressed feelings to the surface and teaching people to cope with these feeling or attitudes better.? Co-operationSherif’s study- The Robber’s Cave shows how, by using co-operation, prejudices can be overcome. Aronson et al (1978) investigated methods for decreasing prejudice in schools, so he developed The Jigsaw method (aimed at developing mutual interdependence.) A class was divided into groups and were given a project to research. Each group member had a piece of the ‘puzzle’ which they then taught to the other group members.
While the study improved self-esteem, improved academic performance, increased liking of peers and improved ethnic perceptions, but changes were minimal. Co-operation is needed on a bigger scale, such as in the home and cultural influences.? Super ordinate goalThe Robber’s Cave shows how if people have the same goal in mind, they work as a team and prejudice diminishes.? PersuasionAdvertising has been used to change behaviour- like smoking.
In America there have been campaigns to change social attitudes towards smoking, such as posters with ‘We shouldn’t infect children with poisonous stereotypes.’ This is just one examples of how the media can be and should be used more in a positive way to reduce prejudice attitudes. More extreme measures were taken by suffragettes in order to change the public’s opinion on rights for women.? Social modellingSocial modelling is an indirect influence, but are attitudes based on reality, or reality on our attitudes? Employers want thin, attractive receptionists, as we expect one. In America adverts were forced to represent ethnic majorities and minorities equally.
TV programmes have recruited women and other ethnic groups to play roles as to subtly alter our stereotypes.? HumourThis is used to make light of offensive stereotypes. It is particularly found in TV programmes.? Direct instruction or educationThis can counter negative attitudes, particularly if it comes from parents and school.McGuire (1964) suggested the Inoculation approach as a defence against persuasion to things such as smoking. Children need to be provided with counter- arguments against attitudes and behaviour they will encounter in life.
He found this was more effective. Bern (1983) suggested that sexism can be counteracted in children by teaching them that gender is a biological factor and not determined by clothes or toys.? Raising awareness by mediaThe media is a powerful tool and should be used positively, like persuasion, to help dissolve prejudice attitudes. People are unaware just how the media affects them, in particular TV and radio, therefore they would not realise if they are being influenced.