Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Todd L. Pittinsky
Prejudice is a term with many connotations. The most common definition of prejudice in the social sciences is an attitude toward members of a given social group that rests on the fact that they are members of that group (e.g., members of a particular race, ethnicity, religion, or gender; individuals of a particular age, economic class, sexual orientation, or disability status). Generally, most researchers consider prejudice to be the emotional component of reactions toward others based on their social category membership. It is also associated with stereotypes—specific ideas about the members of the group—and with discrimination—behavior toward the members of that group. Discrimination can be either overt (e.g., refusing housing or seating on a bus based on race) or subtle (e.g., administering job qualification tests that favor some ethnic groups based on criteria that are not job related). The notion of groups is central to the concept of prejudice; although ...