Prejudice can be explained as an act of making of predetermined judgement of the situation or about other persons without credible information to support the decision. This can be termed as negative or positive evaluation about individuals over some phenomena which are not well supported by rational decisions. On most campuses, prejudice attributes are predominant. The most of decisions made by students are predetermined which are not fully based on rational grounds. On contradiction, the students in the campus have an access to the same facilities.
The contact hypothesis explains on the impact of direct individual interaction on the reduction of prejudice. The contact hypothesis is used as one of the tools that are used to regulate the level of prejudice in many set occasions. The hypothesis is a necessary tool that should play a crucial role in most campuses in ensuring that most of the interactive occasion is meant to bring a cordial relationship among students. This helps in developing an environment where prejudice is minimized. The practical interaction is a necessity in ensuring prejudice control through sustained communication between individuals. In this case, despite the student having equal status, practical contact and sustained communication may be hindered. In most campuses, most of the activities involved are interactive in nature. It is worth mentioning that, due to the nature of operation of most institutions, prejudice attributes are likely to prevail due to personal interest or disparities based on ethics and nationality. This creates division in most institutions making the element of establishing predetermined decisions prevail. The impact of the scenario is lack of coordination within the institution which can lead to decreased performance of the prejudiced students. The contact hypothesis is a useful instrument that can be used to cater for these disparities. In the scenario provided in regard to United States, the contact hypothesis will assist is covering the gap which is in the institution. The interaction of students helps in the revelation of the other parties’ capability creating an environment of cordial partnership. In addition, the contact hypothesis considers the existence of social norms that favors the equality of different groups in order to capitalize on the consensus of authorities (Shepard. Pg.67). The laws in contact hypothesis facilitate prejudice control since it upholds the social norms of free prejudice society. In this case, the authorities must define mechanisms that initiate frequent interaction within the society and institutions. The authority should also encourage friendly, egalitarian attitudes and discourage group comparison. For instance, the students running the media department within the campuses are freely ridiculing the minority. This is an indication of disparity within the institution based on ethical backgrounds. The spread of threatening materials reflects a poor relationship that exists within the campus society. The students within the institution are subdivided where the majority gains the power to make the predetermined judgement to the minority. The graffiti drawings reflect the prejudice attributes with over the minority student organizations. In this case, therefore, despite the equality in level of status, some other factors must be considered in ensuring the full eradication of prejudice in the campuses (Shepard. Pg.78).
The functional perspective focuses on the nature and process of making decisions by an individual. The perspective focuses on four main areas that are crucial in making decisions. These include the identification of the problem, goal setting, alternatives analysis and evaluation. All the stages are aimed at achieving the decisions which do not lead to any prejudice. All the steps are equally important in achieving the rational decisions. Functionalists considered the conventionality personality in prejudice spreading among the society. They argued that people with conventionality personality have relatively high levels of conformity. According to the functionalists, the minorities alter their beliefs in an attempt to be accepted within the society (Andersen and Taylor. Pg.281). The functionalists argued that persistent behavior of prejudice leads to the threat to stability in the society, creating imbalances within the community (Andersen and Taylor. Pg.282 ).
In addition, functionalists recognized that the dominant group creates a feeling of superiority over the minority groups. In this case, the dominant group exhibits self-concepts within the society. According to functionalist’s argument, prejudice must exist in order to trigger cohesiveness in the society. In a social solidarity, majority are convinced of their superiority through judging the minority leading to the creation of ethnocentrism (Cope. Pg.141). A prejudice that exists on campus can be well understood through this perspective. In regard to the government, the authority should also encourage friendly, egalitarian attitudes and discourage group comparison The prejudices will make the minority student feel unappreciated. The practical interaction is a necessity in ensuring prejudice control through sustained communication between individuals. The creation of boundaries within the institution which are based on regional background can be discouraged through the use of contact hypothesis and functionalists perspectives. This will help in making all students interact and have a common goal in achieving the set targets.
Andersen, Margaret L and Howard Francis Taylor. Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Belmont: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006.
Cope, Zak. Dimensions of Prejudice: Towards a Political Economy of Bigotry. Oxford : Peter Lang, 2008.
Shepard, Jon M. Cengage Advantage Books: Sociology. Belmont: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning,, 2013.