Roots of Prejudice and American DialectsNameInstitutionInstructorCourseDate Roots of Prejudice and American DialectsA Class DividedA Class Divided film is a film about a class in Riceville, Lowa in which students are upset due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior. The students could not understand why someone could kill their hero (Peters, 1987). Their teacher Jane Elliott tries an experiment on the class to enable them to understand discrimination and its effects on people.
She does this by treating the students with blue eyes more superior to the students with brown eyes (Peters, 1987). She praises the students more and provides more privileges to the students with blue eyes. On the second day, the opposite happens where the students with brown eyes are treated more superior and the students with blue eyes are made inferior (Peters, 1987). This exercise affected the students as the inferior group performed poorly on most aspects of their activities where else the superior children also became mean to the inferior group. This exercise positively impacted the students as they later recount on their experiences fourteen years later (Peters, 1987). I was surprised at how quickly the children began to treat each other differently after they were told that children with a certain eye color were superior or inferior. This is because by just a statement meant by their teacher, the children reacted quickly without even analyzing or questioning why they were made superior and others inferior (Gilovich, Keltner, Chen, & Nisbett, 2015). I thought discrimination was all about certain behaviors and perceptions about certain groups based on how they behaved or their origin.
However, by just treating a group differently with no reason or justification can spread and increase at how individuals perceive and treat each other (Gilovich et al., 2015). The superior group was mean to the inferior group with no justification but based on how they were treated. Prejudice views develop through stereotyping and discrimination based on how humans think. This leads to assumptions about certain groups based on their experiences or what individuals have been taught to believe (Whitley & Kite, 2016). Prejudice views persist due to social influence and conforming to social norms. The group could continue discriminating the inferior group due to the different social class that had been developed (Peters, 1987).
The students began discriminating the inferior group based on how the teacher treated the inferior group and the color of the eyes (Peters, 1987). There are interventions that can be implemented to eliminate prejudice, which can be based on the reasons why prejudice occurs. Members of the society can be trained to understand other member’s feelings, which can help, reduce and eliminate prejudice among different groups (Whitley ; Kite, 2016).
The experiment conducted by Jane Elliott trained the students to understand the other group’s feelings, which made a positive impact on the students. Education plays an important role addressing prejudice as it is directly associated with values and attitudes that individuals have towards one another (Gilovich et al., 2015).
Education can help in shaping the attitudes and discrimination that individuals have towards one another by teaching about historical injustices and the negative effects associated with prejudice (Gilovich et al., 2015). Education is also important in educating students about human rights and the benefits of equality and respect to all individuals regardless of their backgrounds and color (Gilovich et al., 2015). ReferencesGilovich, T., Keltner, D., Chen, S., & Nisbett, R.
E. (2015). Social psychology. New York, NY: W.W.
Norton Publishing.Peters, W. (1987). A class divided: Then and now.
New Haven: Yale University Press.Whitley, B. E.
, & Kite, M. E. (2016). Psychology of prejudice and discrimination.
New York, NY: Routledge.