Stages of Prejudice

Stages of Prejudice


Prejudice prejudges and harbours negative attitudes. Judgments and attitudes are primarily internal, though our tendency is to translate them into action. Very few people keep their negative prejudges to themselves. Eventually, strong negative feelings will find expression.


Antilocution means, “speaking against.” Eventually, most people will express their negative feelings for others by talking against them. Ethnic jokes are often considered a mild form of antilocution. These jokes can be vicious, cruel, and degrading to the humanity of the “out” group. Although antilocution can be mild, it is always demeaning and un-Christian. We should remove this type of vocabulary from our own language and challenge friends who use it.

Think of some examples of expressions you use that are based on sterotypes? How does it feel when you belong to the “out” group?


A more progressive way of expressing bias or prejudice is avoidance of members of the disliked group. Avoidance behaviour does not directly inflict harm on members of the “out” group; it is more of an inconvenience to the prejudiced person. However, those who are avoided do feel hurt and de-humanized. Often, this avoidance behaviour can lead to worse manifestations of overt prejudice.

How does avoidance harm others? What does it feel like to be ignored or treated as if you do not exist?


Discrimination involves harmful actions against disliked persons. This treatment denies people their fundamental human rights, not treating them as equals. Discrimination may be based on various criteria such as race, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation etc.

What are some ways that discrimination manifests itself in our society?

How are people’s human rights being violated by these actions?


Heightened emotions associated with prejudice often lead to violence and to the commission of hate crimes. These can include property vandalism, desecration of objects, ejection of people from neighbourhoods due to racial or gang violence, rape, sexual assault, and “gay bashing”.

Our newspapers are filled with reports of violent acts. Go through a daily newspaper and determine how many of these actions are motivated by prejudice.


The ultimate form of prejudice is killing the “undesirable”. This can include eliminating either the individual or the whole group to which they belong. Examples of this include assassinations, lynching, massacres, terrorist bombings, and “ethnic cleansing”. Perhaps the most horrific example is the attempt of genocide against the Jewish people by Adolf Hitler during World War II. Another more recent for of genocide occurred in Rwanda. This began in April of 1994 and lasted for approximately 100 days. During this time nearly 1 million people were massacred.