Progressive Dictionary: Prejudice

making inferences about the population based on outliers in the sample data

2 thoughts on “Progressive Dictionary: Prejudice

  1. Scott Erb says:

    But can’t prejudice also be based on averages within the sample? I’d be tempted to define something like “Explaining the behavior of people by use of identity as the causal variable.” Eg: “well, no need to intervene in the Rwandan genocide because it’s a tribal African thing (read: they’re black) that we in the West can’t understand (read: we’re white).”

    • jrdreistadt says:

      Yes, it can! Perhaps there is variability in the range of understandings and expressions of prejudice. In my example, Person A sees Person B on TV or in person, but has some kind of limited, superficial interaction. Person B is different in some obvious way from Person A, like gender or ethnicity. Person A is not typically exposed to people ‘like’ Person B. So Person B exhibits some type of stereotypical behavior, or something that is understood to be stereotypical due to Person A’s lack of contextual sensitivity, and therefore Person A thinks all people ‘like’ Person B in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, etc. are also like Person B in terms of behavior. So I think my example and yours really complement each other, although they are different. I am sure there are also other ways that prejudice could be explained, and I hope to see other ideas here!

      So glad you are part of this community and discussion, Scott. 🙂

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