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Stereotypes and Prejudices

Ethnic equality concept and racial justice symbol as a black and white crumpled paper shaped as a human head on old rustic wood background with contrasting tones as a metaphor for social race issues.

The Founding Fathers of the United States have built American society on the principles of equality of all people. Even today, the United States of America is considered to be one of the most democratic countries in the world. Prejudices and stereotypes do not have any ground to be developed here. However, social and economic changes led American culture to increasing numbers of discrimination cases that cause the destruction of the major principles of equality.

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Discrimination occurs when people practice constant aggression or intolerance towards certain groups based on some characteristics such as gender, race or age. The roots of discrimination come from the belief that one person is better than another based on the certain features. Historically, in American culture, a young white male has more advantages. He is believed to be the most desirable and reliable worker. This belief is built upon certain ignorance. Lack of education and pre-set beliefs make people treat some groups in society differently. For example, white men are believed to have natural inclinations of stronger and better workers than women. Therefore, they are more likely to get certain jobs. It is so because for years only men were allowed to work and earn money. Women were not allowed to receive education, vote, or work. Many stereotypes claim that nature has created men to be more dominant and hard-working. Therefore, up until 20th century women could not prove their abilities to compete with men at work. Today, a century later, stereotypes still make people believe in gender inequality while hiring at work, or choosing certain occupations. This social discrimination existed for centuries and created many gender stereotypes and prejudices.

Minority groups are other victims of social discrimination. For example, African-American population, after being liberated, has also gained equal rights with white people in the United States. However, at the same time, they were the poorest group in America. Therefore, people believed that the majority of the black population rely only on welfare and certainly is involved in illegal activities. However, welfare and illegal behavior can rather be linked to economic disadvantages of these members of society than their skin color. If we look at the other poor countries, we can see the same tendencies of illegal operations that dominate the market there. Stereotypes do objectify individuals to a certain pre-set image created in society. Discrimination continues because individuals believe in stereotypes and blindly live in the world without learning or having their own experience.

In recent decades, American society is known for opposing discrimination. Numerous demonstrations, entertainment programs, social and political policies such as affirmative action, have started to change images in the minds of people. Depersonalization of minority groups (Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians), as well as women, has diminished dramatically. Actions have been taken on the government level. Laws have been passed, forbidding employers to discriminate against women, minority groups, and elder people. Social awareness in society decreased the level of discrimination in the United States. Education of society proved to be a powerful force fighting the destructing effects of discrimination. Today, American society has minorities in politics and women working at the top positions.

The lesson to learn from it is that society has the power to influence and direct its own future. The fundamental principles of American society claim that freedom and equality are the most important features of the democratic country. Individual is the most valuable mechanism of any society. In order to progress and develop, the American society has to liberate itself from the burden of discrimination and prejudices. People need to learn the unique qualities of each individual and everyone’s ability to contribute to common good. Past has taught us how destructing ignorance can be. Therefore, looking beyond the general characteristics, this will allow American society to move successfully into the future.

The essay was written by the professional writer from book report outline college level service – Betty Bilton.

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Written by Betty Bilton

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