During our species’ trajectory in the history of our world, prejudice and discrimination have been present. Prejudice can be described as the irrational and adamant attitudes and thoughts that members of a specific group hold about members of another group (Sibley and Duckitt 248). Prejudices can be harmful or positive. Both types of prejudice are usually biased by the individual who holds them and are very difficult to change (Stephan, Cookie and Stephan 33).
The harmful forms of prejudices leads to discrimination- unfair behaviors that holders of harmful prejudice direct against the victims of their prejudices (Sibley and Duckitt 251). According to both psychology and sociology, the emotionality that is present in prejudice appears from our subconscious manners that cause an individual to project feelings of hatred onto a target group as a way of warding off such feelings (Sibley and Duckitt 252). This view connects prejudice to low self-esteem. Individuals that acquire low self-esteem boost their feelings of self-worth by hating certain on groups.
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Social science studies have detected a lot of social factors that contribute to prejudice. The first social factor that contributes to prejudice is socialization. Once particular prejudices are held, they are usually passed on amongst the members of a generation and from one generation to the next through socialization (Pettigrew, Thomas and Tropp 922). The second social factor that contributes to the existence of prejudice is conforming behaviors. Usually, holding particular prejudices earn the support of significant others (Stangor 22). Therefore, individuals may hold certain prejudices to follow the opinions of their significant others.
The third factor that contributes significantly to prejudice is ethnocentrism. It refers to the tendency of some individuals to rely on their cultural norms and values in evaluating the culture of other people (Oskamp 27). Such ethnocentric tendencies entail stereotypical thinking which serves to advance prejudice.
In her novel Frankenstein, Shelly uses the prejudices that Frankenstein and the other characters hold against the creature to reflect how prejudices function in the society and the impacts they have on the victims. The rejection of Frankenstein’s creature by Frankenstein and other members of the society is a manifestation of how prejudice against objects or individuals who reflect norms other than that which is accepted in the society is instilled through the fear of difference.
In psychology, the term refers to the state of representing abnormality (Wright and Lubensky 291). Such an abnormality is viewed as a threat to the social fabric by the members of the society who reflect the accepted norm (Wright and Lubensky 291). Whenever such threats arise, the ideological power structure that prevails at the time usually institute a response. There are two possible responses to such abnormalities. First, the ideological power structure of the time can outrightly reject the threat and destroy it (Navarrete et al.
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