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Instead, many integrated schools have witnessed the formation of ethnic cliques and gangs that battle other groups to defend their own identities.Changes in the law have helped to alter some prejudiced attitudes.Finally, cooperative learning, or learning that involves collaborative interactions between students, while surely of positive value to students, does not assure reduction of hostility between conflicting groups.
The significance of prejudices and stereotypes as an illusory, fantastic explanation of reality consists in the fact that they indirectly contribute to the preservation of social inequality and inhibit progressive change.
Stereotypes mean extremely stable and limited understanding of a social object or situation by which people are guided in their behavior without a second thought (Myers, 2012; Feenstra, 2013).
In its turn, the concept of prejudice includes irrational components of social and individual consciousness, based on the inaccurate, distorted, stereotypized knowledge that was accepted uncritically, with the negative emotional manifestations becoming intense (Myers, 2012; Feenstra, 2013).
A person with a prejudice may not like those who are different and discriminate against them by one’s actions.
Without changes in the law, women might never have been allowed to vote, attend graduate school, or own property.
And racial integration of public facilities in America might never have occurred.
The negative form of prejudice can lead to discrimination, although it is possible to be prejudiced and not act upon the attitudes.
Those who practice discrimination do so to protect opportunities for themselves by denying access to those whom they believe do not deserve the same treatment as everyone else.
In particular, they can express a sense of one’s Self and the desire to seek affectation from the society; defend self-concept from anxiety caused by uncertainty about one’s own safety or internal conflict; as well as support group interests, values, and social status.
Given the latter, in our opinion, one of the most important origins of prejudice and stereotypes is social inequality.