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Prejudice and discrimination - Essay Example

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Globalization has become a byword in contemporary times and the term is used to describe the present connectivity of different cities of the world as a result of economic and financial activities. The global village has shrunk as a result of developments in the field of communication and technology…
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Prejudice and discrimination
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Prejudice and discrimination

Globalization has developed along two main streams namely economic and cultural. For many, globalization is equated with economic interdependence. At the dawn of the 21st century, "the scale and magnitude of global economic interaction appears to be unprecedentedContemporary patterns of economic globalization suggest the emergence of a new international division of labor" (Brahm).
Many would argue that globalization has benefited the wealthier nations and pushed developing nations into disadvantaged positions. There are perceived advantages and disadvantages in globalization. Some would view globalization as a factor the divides and widens the disparity between the rich and poor nations. Others would view globalization as an instrument of peace. They argue that countries that are trading partners are less likely to wage war against each other. Globalization attempted to homogenize cultures across the continent at the expense of cultural self-identity. It has bred the polarization of society's affluent and impoverished members. Saskia Sassen posited that globalization contributed to the class polarization while Janet Abu-Lughod concluded that globalization is contributory to the rise of class disparity. If one would adhere to the concept of convergence and global community, any attempt at creating inequity and conflict within the global convergence zone should be condemned. The resurgence of prejudice and discrimination in contemporary times contravene the context of the global village. As members of the global village, our society should not allow prejudice and discrimination socially, ethically and morally.
Why is there Prejudice and Discrimination
Elliot Aronson in Causes of Prejudice wrote that there are four mitigating circumstances that cause prejudice. They are: (1) economic and political competition or conflict, (2) displaced aggression, (3) personality needs, and (4) conformity to existing social norms (128). Economic and political circumstances motivate prejudice especially when there is a pronounce shortage on resources and one group would want to gain some advantage over a more inferior group. Often, prejudice occurs when there is intense competition for scarce resources. For example, in the nineteenth century, Americans felt threatened about their job security when companies started taking in Chinese immigrants to fill jobs that the native white Americans would not like to take. The Americans felt the Chinese were competing with them thus derogatory and racial slurs were often resorted to vent out their displeasure (130).
Prejudice could be a form of 'scapegoating' where the fault of one individual of specific characteristics was transferred to another person perceived and generalized as having the same characteristics as the former but did not have anything to do with the original offense. A transference of aggression occurred when the desire to retaliate appeared to be "too big or too vague" (131). Prejudice in some instances could be a function of a flawed personality. Some individuals had personalities that were predisposed to become prejudiced not because of external or environmental influences. Finally, prejudice was motivated by the need for compliance or conformity to social norms. People were swayed to adopt a prejudicial attitude towards certain groups of people by way of previous histories, the idea that "it's just the way things are in my town", or a tradition ... Read More
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