People live in constant interaction with each other, they belong to the world society, therefore, all the processes which happen in the world impact people. It should be mentioned that the role of stereotyping, prejudice, and racism in the psychological development, distress, and behavior on a culturally diverse individual is great.
One of then main reasons why stereotyping, prejudice, and racism influence human behavior is the fact that they are the social processes which are inevitable while the formation of human beings. Even though it has been proven that all these processes may be controlled, they still influence human behavior and psychological development (Fiske, 1998).
Considering stereotyping, prejudice, and racism as the part of a psychological development, distress, and behavior on a culturally diverse individual, the changes in human being are going to be discussed under the influence of these social issues.
Stereotypes are formed the basis of the already existing model of behavior, therefore, the social relations is the main reason for stereotypes creation. Depending on the society people live at, their stereotyped behavior maybe either more or less developed. However, these stereotypes influence the behavior of people and their mode of thinking.
Being influenced by one of the stereotypes, people grow up under the impact of that stereotype, therefore, they cannot think in another way. Imagining the situation when the society is free from any prejudices, the role of stereotyping would not be even discussed. Stereotype is the way people think, but the very ideas are given by the society. Even a person with culturally diverse vision of the life is subjected to stereotypes (Sherman, 1996).
Considering the problem of stereotyping in detail, it should be mentioned that stereotypes influence human behavior through the way of their thinking, through the level of priorities and other attitudes.
Human psychology is not studies up to the end, however, it is obvious that living in the society with the stereotype vision of the East as the country where women are oppressed, it is difficult to change this opinion even when a person goes to that country, the role of stereotype is too high. Western people do not know Eastern culture, however, they try to judge it on the basis of the world experience.
Stereotypes may be confused with prejudice, however, this is incorrect. The difference between stereotypes and prejudices is slight, however, it exist. Stereotype is the vision of a society of various issues, both positive and negative, while prejudice in the society reflects negative vision of some issues.
Even though the problem of prejudiced attitude to some particular problems in the society has not been studies up to the end, it is obvious that all of the prejudices in the society were created as the reaction to or reflection on the specific circumstances which existed in the society. Projection, frustration, scapegoating, and displacement of hostility are the psychodynamic processes which take part in prejudiced attitude formation and therefore, influence human behavior (Duckitt, 1992).
Of course, human behavior and the way of thinking changes under the influence of prejudiced opinion of the whole society. Having become a strong prejudice, some issues have become stereotypes. The events and circumstances have changed dramatically since the time of the prejudice appearance, however, people still continue to think in a prejudiced way. Racial discrimination is one of such examples.
Racial discrimination is both a prejudice and a stereotype of a modern American society. The problem of racism should have already been eliminated, however, due to the stereotypes and prejudice, the problem of racial discrimination still exists. Racism as a problem appeared as the result of the social, cultural, psychological issues existed in the society. Under some specific circumstances many years ago race was an important identifier of a human position in the society.
The situation has changed, people have become equal, however, we still speak about racism as a negative issue. This is the point for stereotyping. Of course, living in the modern world, we are unable to avoid the problem of race absolutely, nevertheless, the problem deserves attention due to its wry vision. Racism in its initial nature should mean the diversity of raced which exist in this world, but when we speak about racism in the USA we usually refer to Black people and their limited opportunities in relation to their White peers.
African American ethnicity still remains another one even though racial discrimination has officially been restricted (Bridges, 2010). African American students want to be like the white students that make those lower. It is the problem of the whole mankind, as prejudice and stereotypes leave racism a real problem. Human behavior cannot change in the relation to racism and discrimination until stereotypes of the past and prejudice exist in this world.
Therefore, it should be concluded that human behavior changes with the change of priorities. However, living in the world with the same stereotypes and prejudices, human behavior is not going to change. People are dependant on the society, all the processes which occur in the society influence their behavior.
Fiske, S. (1998). Stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (eds.), The Handbook of Social Psychology (pp. 357-445).Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Duckitt, J. H. (1992). Psychology and prejudice: A historical analysis and integrative framework. American Psychologist, 47(10), 1182-1193.
Bridges, E. (2010). Racial identity development and psychological coping strategies of African American males at a predominantly white university. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 13(1), 14-26.
Sherman, J. W. (1996). Development and mental representation of stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(6), 1126-1141.