Modern Racial Prejudice - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1877 Words
Date:  2022-10-25

Thesis Statement

Racial prejudice is a wrong presupposition that leads to racial discrimination, which includes fear, intolerance, separation among others. Racial prejudice is a result of differences in hair color and texture, skin color, and eye color in people. I want to get to the root cause of modern racial prejudice and illustrate some of its effects on society as well as the economy.

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Nobody is born a racist, but rather is the environment around us can change us to become one. Modern racial prejudice has been brought about by the culture and the teachings of our community. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine if racial prejudice is as a result of the activities or the environment we are subjected to since childhood, as well as the effects of modern racial prejudices, how they impact the day to day activities of modern societies and how it can be reduced or done away with.


A. Background of the Study

Prejudice is a presupposed opinion of something or someone based on irrational arguments. Facts and research are not put into consideration when making such arguments. Prejudice is often due to the kind of society one grows. On the other hand, racism is the belief that one race is superior to another. The basis of racism is usually the difference in skin color, eye color, and hair texture among other differences in the outward appearance.

Racial prejudice is, therefore, is the presumption that one race is superior to another without putting facts and research into consideration. Nobody is born racist, or with specific assumptions that a specific race has varying characteristics to the other but rather, we learn these prejudices from our society.

B. Statement of the Problem

The idea that one race is superior to another is the reason as to why there is a lot of intolerance in the world. Humans are born different from each other and intolerance not only complicates the goal of unity in diversity but rather divides humanity even further. Of late, there have been many cases where people are forced to undergo suffering due to the races. The ideas of white supremacy and black supremacy are some of the non-essential agenda being propagated by racial prejudice.

C. Objectives

  • To indicate that racial prejudice is learned the immediate environment through observational learning.
  • To determine the effects of modern racial prejudice in society
  • To access the effect of set effective measures in stopping or reducing racial prejudice.
  • To access the effects of modern racial prejudice has school-going children and students.
  • To access the effects of modern racial prejudice on public and private institutions

D. Research Questions

  • What is the main cause of modern racial prejudice?
  • Why is racial prejudice a result of the society one is brought up in since childhood?
  • What are the effects of modern racial prejudice on school-going children and students?
  • How effective are the set measures to stop or reduce racial prejudice?

Literature Review

A. Introduction

A literature review is an assessment of the academic works available about a certain subject or a topic area. A literature review will help us to understand the views of other writers about the same subject and what they found out in their research.

Zemore et al. (2015) researched the reason most minorities are disadvantaged in American society. Blacks and Latinos are some of the minorities in American society. Unfair treatment was the primary reason that the minorities resorted to taking drugs and alcohol. The unfair treatment translated back being victimized through modern racial prejudice.

Chow (2008) researched the problems international students faced in Washington University. Intolerance among the students was a clear problem due to racial prejudice. Students from different races would judge others based on skin color, body structure, and hair texture among others and generalize on decisions on the factless basis. Such prejudice, therefore, leads the students to choose whom to interact with while in the campus keenly. In the end, such choices affect the climate of the university when it comes to interaction.

Feagin (2006) researched the root cause of racism through three historical periods of America. They are the era of slavery, the era of segregation and that of white Americans. Racism was ingrained through the major institutions by propagating stereotypes, practices, and ideologies. However, Feagin argues that racism in America was not due to history but rather an intentional creation by the white Americans. Although there have been measures taken to eradicate racism, the effects of the past are still felt among the people today indirectly.

Pettijohn and Watzler (2008) assessed students who enrolled for a Psychology of Prejudice class on their attitude towards homosexuals, sexism, and racism before the course and after the course. They found out that prejudice significantly reduced after students had undergone the course. The authors suggest that if universities add more classes on Psychology of Prejudice then the problem of racism, sexism, and homosexuality may reduce significantly.

Racial prejudice leads to factors like fear, separation, and intolerance among others. The prejudice is because of differences in outward features such as skin color, hair texture, and eye color among others. This paper will discuss how modern racial prejudice affects the economy and society in general. We are not born racists, but the environment that we are brought up in those changes our mindset. This study aims to determine that modern racial prejudice is the outcome of the activities that our environment we are subjected to from our childhood. The paper will also analyze the effects of modern racial prejudice on the day-to-day activities in our societies. In addition, ways in which modern racial prejudice can be reduced will be analyzed.

B. Conceptual Framework

Bandura (2014) explains that children learn from the behavior of their models and imitate the same behavior. Therefore, models should ensure that they display the best morals so that children can copy the same. Parents and teachers should also reinforce their children's behavior either positively or negatively to avoid scenarios of children learning bad morals/behaviors from other people in society. It is under the theory that we will analyze the impact our behavior has on children, and prove that children learn modern racial prejudice from adults (models) in their environment.

C. An Environment That Leads to Modern Racial Prejudice

Children are a product of their immediate environment. Their behavior and character reflect the kind of environment they were brought up. Modern racial prejudice is one of the behaviors learned from the environment and ingrained in the behavior of children (Zemore et al., 2011). Therefore, the society and environment is the major cause of modern racial prejudice.

D. Effects of Modern Racial Prejudice

Once we learn modern racial prejudice, it affects our attitude towards people of a race different from ours. Therefore, the economy and society end up being affected by modern racial prejudice. Intolerance, bad attitude, and rebellion are some of the effects of modern racial prejudice (Zemore et al., 2011).

E. Review of Variables

All people were born equal, but with time we make some decisions about certain groups of people and pin that definition on the people. Socialization is one of the greatest learning platforms for people (Zemore et al., 2011). It is through socialization that children learn prejudice. Prejudice occurs a lot outside the home setup. Nobody is born racist, but rather we learn the behavior from other people in the society, which is a wrong mindset.

F. Summary

Modern racial prejudice is a problem of a society that is learned. Those who fall victim of the vice may end up resorting to alcohol and drug abuse. If members of the society are taught that some of their behavior is a result of modern racial prejudice, then the problem can be overcome. Lastly, bearing in mind that children learn from their immediate society, good behavior among members of society is the first step toward overcoming racial prejudice.

Social Learning Theory

Albert Bandura is the proponent of the social learning theory. He argues that children learn through observing the behavior of people in their immediate society. The people they observe behavior from are called models. Models can be their parents, teachers, characters in their favorite TV programs, friends in their peer groups among others (Bandura, 2014). Children imitate the behavior of these models, whether good or bad.

Children observe the behavior the models and then imitate the observed behavior. Children imitate such behavior without minding if the behavior is suitable for their gender or not. However, society influences the children to replicate the behavior that is appropriate to their gender through the Oedipus complex.

The behaviorism theories of classical and operant conditioning argue that any behavior that is rewarding is reinforced, and therefore is repeated often. Children, on the other hand, tend to repeat any behavior depending on whether the behavior is reinforced or punished. When a child imitates the behavior of their model and is rewarded in the end, they will continue repeating the same behavior (Bandura, 2014). Reinforcement can be either positive or negative, but the vital part is how it changes the behavior of the child.

Children also consider the consequences their models go through before they decide whether to copy the behavior or not. A child will learn through observing the consequences the model goes through. For instance, if a child sees their elder sibling being rewarded for certain behavior, they are highly likely to repeat the same behavior. Such kind of reinforcement is referred to as vicarious reinforcement (Bandura, 2014).

Modern racial prejudice occurs because of the behavior that children learn from their models in society. The way we treat people from other races is the same way children learn how to treat the same people (Bandura, 2014). This is to mean even if we tell children that racial prejudice is wrong but we still perform the same behavior, they will follow what they see from us.

The Mediational Processes

The social learning theory helps us to understand the mental processes that a child goes through when undergoing the learning process. Learning takes place under the cognitive process. The cognitive processes affect the learning process of the behavior being put under observation. Therefore, children do not observe behavior and imitate it immediately. They make a thought before imitating, which is termed as mediation. Mediation takes place between observation of the behavior and the imitation (Bandura, 2014). The mediation process is a four-step process according to Bandura. It consists of attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation.

A. Attention

Attention is the extent to which children can notice behavior, and it comes to their attention. Children observe many behaviors every day, but only a few can draw their attention. Attention is therefore vital in determining whether a behavior influences children or not. Modern racial prejudice is a behavior that has caught the attention of most of our children (Bandura, 2014).

B Retention

Retention is the extent to which children remember a certain behavior. They may observe behavior, but if they do not remember the behavior, then imitation will not take place. Retention of the behavior will thus determine if it will be repeated later or not because social learning is not an immediate process (Bandura, 2014). Racial prejudice is, therefore, a behavior that has caught the attention of our children and that is how they end up replica...

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