Meaning of Prejudice
What is Prejudice:
A prejudice is an opinion, usually of a negative nature, that we have formed about something or someone in advance and without due knowledge. In this sense, prejudice is the action and effect of prejudging. Prejudging, as such, means judging things ahead of time. The word comes from Latin praeiudicium.
Prejudices imply suspicious or hostile attitudes towards a person who is part of a group (social, economic, racial, ethnic, etc.), and who is attributed the same negative qualities that are attributed to the group for the simple fact of belonging to the.
In this way, prejudices are established based on beliefs based on customs, traditions or myths that are attributed to a certain group. As such, they originate first towards one individual, then are attributed to the entire group to which that individual belongs, and then are applied to all individuals in the group.
Prejudices can be caused by racial, social, gender, etc. Many times, prejudices are based on stereotypes: the young are not responsible, the elderly are forgetful, the nerds do not know how to socialize, the blondes are dumb, the Germans are cold, the Jews are greedy, etc.
However, specialists argue that prejudices arise from the need for human beings to protect themselves from everything they recognize as potentially dangerous. Prejudices, in this sense, act by providing the possibility of making firm and quick decisions that avoid dangerous situations.
The fundamental problem with prejudices is that they lead to situations of injustice and discrimination. This means that certain people are given different or inferior treatment, without reason or justification, due to their belonging to certain ethnic, social, political, religious groups, etc. Hence, prejudices can turn into feelings of xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, racism, religious intolerance, among others.