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How to Fight Against Prejudice

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Prejudice can be found at any time and in any society. People have prejudice about other race, religion, nation and even about people who look different from them. There are many notorious examples of former and works of Cesare Lombroso are the extreme example of the later. As someone said,

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon .

It is known that prejudice appears when there is a lack of knowledge. That's because not enough knowledge leads to a generalization which is the root of every prejudice. Once people established their general judgement about one particular group of people, who are of certain religion, race or social background, they tend to keep their beliefs alive by ignoring facts that might spoil their judgement. They don't want to learn, because learning is generally hard and, what is more dangerous, it might also destroy their beliefs. It is easier to notice just those examples which support our beliefs and which make our generalization look stronger. People with prejudice never compare one individual to another, but one whole group to other group. "People of this race are better than people of that race." or "Kids with this and this clothes can't be good" or "Beware of people of that social status."

But, what if there is nothing to compare? What if there is no knowledge at all?

Imagine yourself in a foreign country, far enough that there are big cultural differences between you and inhabitants of that country. What would happen with any prejudice you might have? Could it still exist? If there is nothing to compare, your prejudice will simply disappear because it will become invalid. You will not be able to distinguish between members of different social groups based on their look or origin. And how could you then tell that one social group is better or worse than the other?

Prejudice can only exist when there is something to compare. Next time when you find yourself in a situation that you have to fight against prejudice of a certain race, nation or religion, try to imagine people of that social group isolated from the others. You'll see that, if you try to imagine them according to the prejudice, society of such people could not exist. On the contrary, such societies does exists and are very often great and successful.

Sentence quoted above says exactly that: if there is nothing to compare, there is no prejudice.

If you can't compare individual members of one society, don't try to compare the whole groups, but rather imagine a situation when this group is isolated. That way you can successfully fight against any prejudice.


How to Fight Against Prejudice

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Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . factcouraud. (2007, May 22). How to Fight Against Prejudice. Retrieved January 08, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License