The Effect of Self-image Maintenance on Prejudice

Psychology / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
This paper discusses how self-image maintenance processes facilitate prejudiced behaviors.

This paper analyzes the article, “Prejudice as Self-Image Maintenance: Affirming the Self Through Derogating Others,” Fein and Spencer (1997) which illustrates how self-image maintenance processes facilitate prejudice and stereotyping and internalizes them in people. The writer shows that the most important message from this article is that we should be aware of the existence of these unconscious processes because it will be impossible to modify prejudiced behaviors unless we are aware of the processes.
“Hate crimes are among the most serious problems in the United States. Hate crimes against victims’ racial or ethnic origin, religious preference, and sexual orientation are most notorious, but the fact is that hate crimes target anybody based on any factor. Stereotyping and prejudice are the main causes of hate crimes and are deep-rooted and hard to modify. It appears that stereotyping and prejudice are not merely a product of accumulated historical issues but also a product of a psychological mechanism, which reinforces stereotyping and prejudice. In this article, Prejudice as Self-Image Maintenance: Affirming the Self Through Derogating Others, Fein and Spencer (1997) discuss how self-image maintenance processes underlie stereotyping and prejudice.”


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