Psychology of prejudice and discrimination

Study level: Graduate study programme in psychology
Lecturers: Dinka Čorkalo Biruški, Ph.D.
Language: Croatian
Status: elective
Form of instruction with class hours: 30 hours of lectures, 15 hours of seminars, 15 hours of exercises
Prerequisites: none
Student evaluation: Written exam, student research report

Course description

Cognitive, affective and behavioral component of prejudice. Prejudice as a general evaluation, prejudice as emotional component of an attitude and/or a general affect. The nature of prejudice: automatic and controlled processes. Social context and control of prejudice. Trends in prejudice research. European and American context: social influences on research issues. What is discrimination? Differences between in-group preferences and discrimination. Cognitive, emotional, motivational and behavioral foundation on out-group derogation. Measurement of discrimination. Conceptual approaches to prejudice: historical, sociocultural and situational approach. Personality approach to prejudice (Adorno's concept of authoritarian personality, Altemeyer’s approach of right-wing authoritarianism; left-wing authoritarianism, authoritarianism as a personality trait and as an attitudinal response. Dogmatism, social domination, John Duckitt's approach. Socialization of prejudice: Frances Aboud’s socio-cognitive theory, developmental social identity theory of Drew Nesdale. Socialization of tolerance: influences of parents, peers, school and media. Prejudice and intergroup threat theory. Hybrid and hyphenated identities. Aversive and modern prejudices. Blatant and subtle prejudice. Prejudice towards immigrants as a “new” form of prejudice. Generalisability of prejudice: racism, anti-semitism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, prejudice towards obesity, prejudice towards disabled persons. Social context and manifestation of prejudice. Change of prejudice. Language influences and prejudice. Politically correct speech. Stigma and self-image. Mental health and psychosocial adaptation of victims of prejudice. Minority reactions towards social inequality. Combating prejudice and discrimination: theoretical models. Contact hypothesis and contemporary improvements. Self-regulation of prejudice. Common identity approach. Optimal distinctiveness theory; multiple social identities. Multicilturalism. Assimilation and pluralism. Multicultural education: moderators and mediators of combating prejudices. Models of prejudice reduction in youth. Cooperative learning. Equal status model. Intergroup dialog. Evaluation and outcomes of programs of prejudice reduction. 

Course objectives

To expand and advance knowledge on motivational, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural factors which contribute to development, maintenance and reduction of prejudice and discrimination. The goal is to develop an ability to take a minority perspective, to understand prejudice from the perspective of targets and to learn about efficient strategies for combating prejudices.
The goal of the course is also to get an insight about how to explore and cope with one's own prejudice and discriminatory tendencies. A self-insight will be encouraged in terms of facing one’s own prejudices and discriminatory tendencies. It is necessary for students to be ready for a possibility to experience a certain degree of unpleasant emotions when exploring themselves and their intergroup attitudes. Openness to exploring and challenging different views will be encouraged while respecting the views, rights and dignity of others.

Required readings

Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D. & Akert, R. M. (2002). Socijalna psihologija. Zagreb: Mate. Poglavlje 13. Predrasude. Kako nastaju i kako ih smanjiti. pp. 454-503.
Brown, R. (1995). Prejudice: Its social psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Brown, R. (2006). Grupni procesi: Dinamika unutar i između grupa. Zagreb: Slap. Poglavlje 8. Socijalni identitet i međugrupni odnosi. str. 311-360.
Čorkalo Biruški, D. i Ajduković, D. (2008). Promjene međuetničke diskriminacije u djece i međuetnički stavovi i ponašanja njihovih roditelja. Ljetopis socijalnog rada, 15 (3), 377-400.
Fiske, S. (1998). Stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination. U: D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske & G. Linzey (Eds). Handbook of social psychology (4. edition, vol. 2, 357-414). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Supek, R. (1992). Društvene predrasude i nacionalizam: socijalno-psihološka razmatranja. Zagreb: Globus. Chapters I & II (str. 7-86).

Recommended readings
Selected journal articles.