Prejudice is a broad social phenomenon and area of research, complicated by the fact that intolerance exists in internal cognitions but is manifest in symbol usage (verbal, nonverbal, mediated), law and policy, and social and organizational practice. It is based on group identification (i.e., perceiving and treating a person or people in terms of outgroup membership); but that outgroup can range from the more commonly known outgroups based on race, sex/gender, nationality, or sexual orientation to more specific intolerances of others based on political party, fan status, or membership in some perceived group such as “blonde” or “athlete.” This article begins with the link of culture to prejudice, noting specific culture-based prejudices of ethnocentrism and xenophobia. It then explores the levels at which prejudice might be manifest, finally arriving at a specific focus of prejudice—racism; however, what applies to racism may also apply to other intolerances such as sexism, heterosexism, classism, or ageism.
The discussion and analysis of prejudice becomes complicated when we approach a specific topic like racism, though the tensions surrounding this phenomenon extend to other intolerances such as sexism or heterosexism. Complications include determining the influences that might lead to individual racism or an atmosphere of racism, but also include the very definition of what racism is: Is it an individual phenomenon, or does it refer to an intolerance that is supported by a dominant social structure? Because overt intolerance has become unpopular in many societies, researchers have explored how racism and sexism might be expressed in subtle terms; others investigate how racism intersects with other forms of oppression, including those based on sex/gender, sexual orientation, or colonialism; and still others consider how one might express intolerance “benevolently,” with good intentions though still based on problematic racist or sexist ideologies.
Stephen M. Croucher
This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Please check back later for the full article.
The European Union (EU) is an economic, political, and social conglomeration of twenty-eight member nations. These member nations work together via a system of supranational institutional and intergovernmental negotiated treaties and decisions by member states. While the EU has been able to continue its development in various stages since the 1950s, a key issue continually facing the EU has always been integration at different levels. Integration of new member states, integration of individuals and cultures within member states, and most recently integration of immigrants (newcomers of different designations) into the EU.
While the EU has strict guidelines regarding the integration of new member states into the EU, no policies or procedures are strictly in place regarding the integration of individuals into the EU. Issues of national sovereignty are critical to EU member states when discussing how to integrate newcomers. Most recently, during the heightened wave of refugees entering the EU through its Southern and Eastern borders, the issue of how to integrate newcomers into the EU has come to the forefront of national and EU policymakers. Key questions facing the EU and its member states include this: What are the national integration policies, and how do they differ? What does it mean to be European? What is the future for the EU in response to increased legal, illegal, and irregular migration?