Kamis, 10 Januari 2013

How Society Reduce The Stereotype and Prejudice in Communication

Stereotypes and Prejudice actually included in psychology studies. But we have to realize that stereotype and prejudice is also being a problem in communication. Prejudice and stereotypes usually being a package with discriminations, or maybe racism. We know that so many differences in the world. Some people are rich, so they can buy anything they want, but some others are poor.
Let me see you about Indonesia. We have about 16.000 island with many ethnic and klan inside, with different culture, different language, different norm and many other differences. We have so many culture, traditional dance, traditional song, food, clothes, etc. Many people said that difference make a weakness, but this country build on many distinctions. But we’re united in one nation, Indonesia.
Before I talk too much, we need to know what’s definitions about stereotype and prejudice first.
Defining Stereotype
Jandt (2004), Stereotype is the broader term commonly used to refer to negative or positive judgements made about individuals based on any observable or believed group membership. In other definitions, Lippmann (1992) said that stereotype refer to the typical picture that comes to mind when thinking about a particular social group. Stereotypes not only reflect beliefs about the traits characterizing typical group members but also contain information about other qualities such as social roles, the degree to which member of the group share specific qualities, and influence emotional reactions to group member.

Case study of stereotype
Stereotype made some generalization of some member of groups, it can be positive or negative. Let me see you about stereotypes cases. Indonesia have so many ethnics and religion, but majority is muslim. In about 2002, all we know that there’re terorism cases in Indonesia. Bali, one of most visited island in Indonesia has bombed by terrorist. Sari club and other nightclubs in Legian, Bali was ruined. Many people killed by those accident. Terrorist who bombed that place finally caught. They said that the reason why they do that just because Bali considered as immoral places. They also believe that USA is “most destroyed country” because they sure that USA have a bad effect to the world, and to their religion. They believe that many Americans and another bules got their vacation in Bali at that time.
After these insident, many tourist won’t come to Indonesia, especially come to Bali. Because they affraid with terrorism tragedy and think that Indonesia is a terrorist country. Not just finish up there, many people in the world think that terrorist is always a muslim, Islam is a terrorist religion. This is a bad labels for muslim people of course.
From this case, we can learn that there’re some negative stereotypes. First, muslim people have a mindset that USA make this world messy. Because USA made technology, guns, and entertaintment globally, so they have many power to control the world in all sector. Second, people in the world have a mindset to moslem people too. They think that the terrorist is always a moslem, and Islam is terrorist religion, Islam allowed people to kill each other. We know that not all of this is true. We know some part is just a stereotypes that can’t proved and accounted.

The effects of stereotype
Stereotype has two effects, positive and negative.
a. Positive effects :
1.      Allow people to quickly proccess new information about new events or person
2.      To organize people’s past experiences
3.      To meaningfully assess differences between individuals and groups
4.      To make predictions about other people’s behaviour
b. Negative effects :
1.      Cause us to assume that widely held belief is true when it actually may not be.
2.      Continued use of the stereotype reinforces the belief.
3.      Weaken our ability to think critically.
4.      Breeding ground for errant generalizations.
5.      Serve as a major source of disinformation about others.
6.      May easily conceal or feed into prejudice, racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry.

Defining Prejudice
The study of prejudice has a long history in social psychology troughout which its definition has evolved. Widely definitons of this, prejudice is a negative attitude toward a particular social group and its member. Allport (in Stangor, 2000) assumes that prejudice is not irrational, because prejudice is thinking ill of others without sufficient warrant and based on absence of fact. Dovidio and friends (2010) also describe about prejudice. They suggest that prejudice is an individual level attitude (whether subjectively positive or negative) toward groups and their members that creates or maintains hierarchical status relations between groups.
            Whereas stereotypes can be positive or negative, prejudice refers to the irrational dislike, suspicion, or hatred of a particular group, race, religion, or sexual orientation (Rothenberg, 1992). Prejudice is seen to have three components : cognitive, affective and behavioral (Dovidio, 2010). The first of these is equivalent to what we will define as stereotype. The second is a purer affective or evaluative response to the group, void of any particular semantic content. And the third consist of behaviors and behavioral tendencies discriminate against, or in favor of a group.
We may try to distinguish certain degrees of negative actions in prejudice :
1.      Antilocution. Most people who have prejudices talk about them, with like-minded friends, occasionally with strangers, they may express their antagonism freely. But many people never go beyond this mild degree of anti-pathetic action.
2.      Avoidance. If the prejudice is mire intense, it leads the individual to avoid members of dislikes group, even perhaps at the cost of considerable inconvenience.
3.      Discrimination. Here the prejudiced person make detrimental distinctions of an active sort.

How we can reduce stereotype and prejudice in social live?
Everyday we’re doing communication activities. We have to realize that communications proccess that we always do everyday may create a new stereotypes or prejudice to others. We communicate, so we make a new perspection to another people. According some literature, so this is my suggestions to reduce stereotypes and prejudices :
1.      Eshtablising cultural norms.
2.      We need more frequent information and stronger content.
3.      We have to remember that our opinions affect what people think, so we have to more careful.
4.      Presenting more balanced pictures of minority in media. We can do this by reporting forms of human right abuses and portraiting all groups fairly. All we know that media is the window of the world. Human persceptions is also formed by media.
5.      Keep comunicating fairly with each other.

References :
Dovidio, John. F and friends. 2010. The SAGE Handbook of Prejudice; Stereotyping and Discrimination. London : SAGE Publications.
F. E. Jandt, “Stereotypes and Prejudice as Barriers,”. in An Introduction to Intercultural Communication. Identities in a Global Community, F. E. Jandt. Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2004, pp. 93 – 119.
Stangor, Charles. 2000. Key Reading in Social Psychology; Stereotypes and Prejudice. Philadelphia : Psychology Press.
Wolfe, Connie T and Steven J Spencer. Stereotypes and Prejudice. University of Michigan. Downloaded from /67510/2/10.1177_000276429604000207.pdf in October 13th, 2012.

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