Dehumanization and Social Prejudices

Research

 

In today's society, we still face social prejudices that affect our nation. I present further insight into how identity prejudices can affect us and our culture. 

Dehumanization and Denial of Humanity Research

"Dehumanization results from both denial of uniquely human (UH) characteristics (e.g., secondary emotions) and human nature (HN; i.e., what is intrinsically human and central to humans)" (Albarello, Crisp, Rubini). Human nature is at times uncontrollable, but at others times it is a facet of societal flaws in regards to prejudice and infrahumanization. Hybrid and poly-cultural societies present many problems in which many cultures are being forced within close proximity of each other which is raising tensions. This occurs in various forms like denial of mind/dementialization which derives from the denial of agency and denial of experience (Waytz, Gray, Epley, & Wegner, 2010). The researchers state that "these two forms of dementalization lead respectively to distinguishing humans from animals, and humans from robots" (Waytz, Gray, Epley, & Wegner, 2010). During the last two decades, a lot of scholars have talked about infrahumanization and dehumanization as aggravated forms of social prejudice which lead one to think of others as less human than themselves or their in-group (e.g., Albarello & Rubini, 2015). We must realize that these prejudices are not uncommon and can affect how we live our lives.

How Prejudices Affect Us

Researchers have found that "racial discrimination experienced across a range of settings has the potential to impact on a wide range of health outcomes and risk factors" (Harris, et. al.). We need to realize that experiencing prejudice affects our society in a very negative health way. We will be more divided, more stressed, and more defensive which can lead to risky behavior by both in-groups and out-groups. With this in mind, we must teach our future generations to be more accepting of others that might look different, sound different, or practice different beliefs or orientations. By being more accepting we can also incorporate a larger set of ideas that can progress our society and help us work together more effectively. Let's continue to think differently.

- WPD

Citations:

  1. Albarello, F., Crisp, R., & Rubini, M. (2018). Promoting beliefs in the inalienability of human rights by attributing uniquely human emotions through multiple categorization. The Journal of Social Psychology, 158(3), 309-321.
  2. Albarello, F., & Rubini, M. (2015). The role of reduced humanity in producing linguistic discrimination. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 224–236. doi:10.1177/0146167214561195
  3. Harris, Cormack, Tobias, Yeh, Talamaivao, Minster, & Timutimu. (2012). The pervasive effects of racism: Experiences of racial discrimination in New Zealand over time and associations with multiple health domains. Social Science & Medicine, 74(3), 408-415.
  4. Waytz, A., Gray, K., Epley, N., & Wegner, D. (2010). Causes and consequences of mind perception. Trends in Social Cognition, 14, 383–388. doi:10.1016/j.tivs.2010.05.006

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