Prejudice is considered as wrong or unjustified approach towards an individual based solely on the person’s membership of a social group (Abrams, 2010). On the other hand, stereotyping is the negative conduct or action towards a group of individuals, mainly based on race, sex, or social class. Discrimination and prejudice are all negative psychological issues that are faced in the world. Each of these comprises damaging effects to the victims as they are mocked, ridiculed, or placed into groups that they do not deserve (Er-Rafiy, Brauer & Musca, 2010). Individuals of different cultures, races, and sexual orientations encounter prejudice towards them often. Individuals suffering from mental or physical handicaps such as skin disorder, overweight and mental retardation are targets of prejudice actions. Prejudice and stereotyping studies have pursued that development of interventions can subsequently fight these psychological issues. Considerably, attempts to reduce stereotyping and prejudice have been made through reduction interventions.
Several mechanisms have been proposed to illustrate how intergroup contact can be utilized for low prejudice. Generating useful ties, changing behavior, understanding about an outgroup, and in-group reappraisal are adequate mechanisms of reducing stereotyping and prejudice. Over the years, education has been a significant area of interest for scholars who have researched what works to reduce stereotyping and prejudice. Educational reduction initiatives that have been developed on contact theory have been considered useful in reducing stereotyping and prejudice (FitzGerald, Martin, Berner & Hurst, 2019). For instance, activities such as cooperative learning, instruction, and a multicultural curriculum help lower prejudice and stereotyping.
Considerably, educational initiatives focus on encouraging positive associations through challenging myths about stereotyping and prejudice. This may include groups with direct connection with each other such as pupils from varying faith schools having peer discussion or sharing learning on different issues that might be alleged to create tensions or divisions. The shared education program is an important initiative to bring a more cohesive society. The shared education program has facilitated sustained cross-group encounters to facilitate mutual understanding and reduce prejudice (FitzGerald, Martin, Berner & Hurst, 2019). The objective of SEP is consistent with mechanisms that have been established to address the issues of stereotyping and prejudice. This intervention has facilitated sustained contact that has allowed participants to develop relationships linked with reduced prejudice, reduced anxiety, perspective-taking, and trust-building.
The media-based initiative can be an effective medium since it influences people’s attitudes on several social issues. Considerably, media campaigns are essential in increasing the awareness to large populations through routine media such as newspapers, social media, television, and radio (Sutton, Perry & Parke, 2007). For instance, social media platforms can be used to disapprove the negative prejudices and stereotypes. Media campaigns significantly impact racially prejudiced individuals since it changes the prejudice and stereotype behavior.
Tackling stereotypes and prejudice is viewed as essential in fostering a cohesive society as well as facilitating an individual’s wellbeing. Media-based and educational initiatives are promising and suitable strategies for minimizing short and long term prejudice and stereotyping. These initiatives are effective ways of persuasively communicating messages and more excellent ways of developing social inclusion and cohesion.
Abrams, D. (2010). Processes of prejudices: Theory, evidence, and intervention. Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
Er-Rafiy, A., Brauer, M., & Musca, S. C. (2010). Effective reduction of prejudice and discrimination: Methodological considerations and three field experiments. Revue Internationale de psychologie social, 23(2), 57-95.
FitzGerald, C., Martin, A., Berner, D., & Hurst, S. (2019). Interventions designed to reduce implicit prejudices and implicit stereotypes in real-world contexts: a systematic review. BMC psychology, 7(1), 29.
Sutton, M., Perry, B., & Parke, J. (2007). Getting the message across using media to reduce racial prejudice and discrimination.