Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Farah A. Ibrahim & Carmen B. Williams
Prejudice has been defined as a preformed adverse judgment or opinion that is not grounded in knowledge, or an irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion. In legal terms, prejudice has been defined as an irrational hostile attitude directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics. Prejudicial behavior is responsible for a significant amount of anguish, psychological and emotional pain, and abuse of the target in cross-cultural and intergroup encounters. Examples of prejudicial behaviors include everyday life events of racism, sexism, and classism that can heighten subjective experiences of stress. Similarly, stresses experienced by women; inter-sexual, gay, lesbian, and transgendered people; religious minorities; and Arabs, Muslims, and Pakistanis (considered “villains” by some after September 11, 2001) may have their origins in personal and social prejudices. Prejudices are defended strongly, as early cultural socialization experiences mold beliefs about people across ways of life. ...