Prejudice and discrimination has existed since time in memorial. I have focused on prejudice and discrimination among blacks in the United States of America. They began as slaves working for whites for free. The blacks were taken form their country and transported to the U. S. A. to provide cheap labor. The perceptions that people have on blacks in the U. S. A. have continued and therefore prejudice and discrimination is still perpetrated in the U. S. A. to present day even after slavery was abolished.
According Rudman, Greenwald, Meltlot, & Schwartz, (1999), proponents of the Implicit Association Tests believes that in most cases, people are not aware that they are discriminating against others and the processes that make us discriminate against a type of people is often dependent on the past experiences we have had with the people we are discriminating against.
Social psychological principle that have been involved in choosing the blacks discrimination in the U. S. A. is the perceptions that have existed since time in memorial that blacks are lesser the whites. People still recall the way blacks had been discriminated during slavery and they carry on these perceptions to present day. The best schools and hospitals among other social amenities were reserved for the whites. When blacks were working as slaves for the whites, they were perceived as very poor and this contributed to building a negative self image that is still associated with them.
History is told of how the blacks were poor and often considered as a lesser race in comparison to whites. These perceptions have been transmitted from generations to generations and whites have always been thought as superior to the blacks (Fiske, Gilbert, & Gardener 2010).
My subjective opinion about that changing people’s emotions will not do any good in changing in attaining social change. Taking my example of discrimination and prejudice against blacks by the whites in the U. S. A. , the white’s perception of blacks been lesser than them was created long ago by their forefathers and still dominates the way they view blacks in the modern society. In addition, when blacks were working as slaves for the whites, they were earning very little money or working for free while the whites continued to accumulate wealth. When slavery was abolished, the blacks were still not at par with the whites in terms of wealth and could not attend the best schools or hospitals, thus they are still considered as poor by the whites.
In my own subjective opinion, for social change to be achieved and discrimination and prejudice in U. S. A. eliminated, the whites and the blacks should have started at par in regard to wealth accumulation. It is the only way they could be viewed as equals. Therefore changing people’s emotions against a certain group of people does not automatically translate to social change.
The United States of America abolished slave trade and blacks were given equal opportunities but this did not attain social change (Tuhus – Dubrow, 2008). Reference Fiske, T. , Gilbert, T. & Gardener L. (2010): Handbook of Social Psychology: New York: John Wiley 7 Sons: Vol. 1. Rudman, A. , Greenwald, G. , Meltlot, D. & Schwartz, L. (1999): Measuring Automatic Components Of Prejudice: Flexibility And Generality Of The Implicit Association Test. Social Cognition: 17 (4): 437 – 476: (ProQuest Document ID: 487702235). Tuhus – Dubrow, R. (2008): Those People – What If Our Prejudices Could Be Transformed Into a Force for Good? A Harvard Scholar Suggests A New Way To Think About Social Relations: Boston Globe: (Proquest Document ID: 1409289251).