Prejudice, Ethnic Relations, and Multiculturalism
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What is prejudice? CPA Fact Sheet
Prejudgement without any real knowledge.

There are a large number of approaches to the explanation of prejudice.

Biological Theories - like ethnocentrism - viewed as part of our evolutionary past; "red in tooth and claw" - aggression is a natural instinct, competition in genes,...

Social Theories
suggest that were learn to distinguish between types of people for political, economic and social reasons. Conformity and Modelling others' behaviours and attitudes.

Psychological Theories
often mix elements from these other two, e.g.,

Hostility Displacement and Scapegoating is built on the Freudian model of "hydraulics" where aggression and hostility towards others is seen as a deflection of psychological energy (libido) from some frustration in one's life.
(i.e., Boss (father figure) yells at you, you yell at kids, kids yell at cat.) Someone becomes the victim or scapegoat of the action. The fundamental attribution error may be invovled too.

Cognitive - Use stereotypes as categories to organise the world, prejudice is the use of 'loose categories' that don't work very well.  Perhaps need to teach people more accurate information so they can know the 'others' better.

Implicit associations tests show such inherent biases when judging others. See in time to make judgement about positive and negative attributes associated with "racial" or disadvantaged groups (i.e. Blacks, Aboriginal Peoples, Women, ...) Take the Test

Social Identity Theory suggests that we have a need  for distinctiveness of social identity.  We favour our in-groups to the exclusion of others.

Tajfel - Social Identity Theory -
Positive feelings of value and emotional significance arise through group membership.

-Positive valuation in comparison with other groups is observed in Minimal Group Studies. Preference for paintings, give more money to "fictitious in-group'.

The problem of the Commons - social traps


How to combat prejudice and discrimination?

Education, information, sharing and contact (these are part of the multicultural policy and multicultural ideology). Teach people to become active witnesses (Ishiyama)

Identity theory of prejudice - Through identifying with others you will experience them as yourself, you will no longer be prejudiced against them as others. Vedanta, Buddhism, Christianity -love thy enemy, Gandhi quoted Christ on this point in his non-violent stand against discrimination.

Creating Superordinate goals or groups - Sherif - Robbers' Cave Experiements where boys from two competing groups had to pull together to overcome an outside threat.

Contact hypothesis suggests that having contact with people from other groups one will become less prejudiced and more accepting and tolerant of differences that were once perceived as incommensurate.

Tajfel (1978) indicates that simple categorization of people into groups will lead to an exaggeration of the differences between the groups and a minimization of the differences within the groups.

Amir (1986) provides reviews on the contact hypothesis, indicating that contact may or may not lead to a reduction in prejudiced attitudes, depending upon a number of variables.

Those variables pertinant in developing positive inter-relations between groups:
(1) The initial intergroup attitudes are not extremely negative;

(2) Contact of an intimate rather than casual nature which allows the interacting members to really get to know each other beyond the superficial level;

(3) An 'authority' and/or social climate slanted in favour of and promoting the pursuit of common goals;

(4) Equal-status contact between the members of the interacting groups. (p. 74)

It is not simply contact that the multicultural policy should be after, but a special kind of contact, as described above.

Peacemaking: Cooperation and finding superordinate goals (Sherif, 1966).  The groups (survivors) need to cooperate to do better. Communication made simple and clear. Concilliation or winning over the favour of others is important for coming together on challenging issues.

Ethnicity and Identity
Built around the need for a distinctive identity, and the need to maintain a link to one's history, past, traditions, ...cultures one enters into group relations and influences


Strange Fruit
A change is gonna come

Indigenous Voices in Canada

A tribe called red

Snotty nose rez kids


Tanya Tagaq Buffy &Tanya