Synopses & Reviews
The development of prejudice and discrimination has its roots in our genetic/evolutionary heritage. Although the specific targets of prejudice are primarily determined by the culture and history of the society in which people reside, the particular socialization experiences children and adolescents have can alter these influences. As Harold Fishbein explains, research shows that prejudice and discrimination have different developmental courses, and moreover, that development within each domain—ethnicity, gender, deafness, mental retardation—is somewhat unique.Fishbein contends that prejudice and discrimination can be reduced. Desegregation and mainstreaming have had little positive effect by themselves, but cooperative learning in classroom settings among different ethnic groups, different genders, or handicapped and non-handicapped individuals has been consistently found to have positive effects. One factor that appears to have a powerful influence in both the transmission of prejudice and its reduction is the sanction of members of the most dominant groups in a culture. Thus, prejudice and discrimination from a societal point of view are top-down phenomena.This book is a valuable text for advanced courses in developmental and social psychology, as well as useful supplemental reading for courses in biological or evolutionary psychology. It is also appropriate for advanced education courses in multiculturalism and diversity. The book will especially appeal to those with strong multidisciplinary interests.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 269-282) and index.