Study Questions

  • Distinguish between prejudice and discrimination and explain clear examples of both. Explain the different dimensions of prejudice and differentiate between them. What are stereotypes? What forms do stereotypes take? How are stereotypes formed an maintained?

  • Explain the various causes of prejudice, including the theoretical perspectives presented in this chapter. Explain and evaluate the research evidence that has been presented.

  • Which theories seem most credible in terms of evidence? Why? Try to think of an incident—from your own experience, the news, or popular culture—that illustrates each theory.

  • How does prejudice persist through time? What are children taught about other groups? What were you taught by your parents? How did this compare with what you learned from friends? How would your socialization experience have changed if you had been raised in another group? Have your views been changed by education or intergroup contact? How?

  • Is prejudice really decreasing, or are the negative emotions and attitudes changing into modern racism? What evidence is most persuasive in leading you to your conclusion? Why?

  • Interpret the information presented in Figure 3.9. Does this graph support the notion that modern racism is an important cause of resistance to racial change? How?

  • What forms of prejudice are involved in hate crimes? What are the roles of group competition and scapegoating? Develop an explanation for hate crimes based on these connections.