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Power point presentation on racism Essay

Definition of Racism

rac*ism n (1936) 1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race 2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary


The separation of groups of people by custom or by law. It is often based on differences of race, religion, wealth, or culture.

The first major challenges to racial segregation in Canada occurred in 1946 when Viola Desmond, a black businesswoman, refused to sit in the balcony of a New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, theater but instead sat downstairs, an area designated exclusively for whites. Viola Desmond’s action occurred nine years before Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama

Causes of segregation

Media examples of racism

What is racism?

The holding of derogatory social attitudes or cognitive beliefs towards members of a particular group on the account of their membership to that group

What is racism?

The ICERD (International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination) defines racism as follows:

“Any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment, or exercise, on equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, or any other field of public life.”

Social function of prejudice & racism

Prejudice and racism may be a necessary means of creating scapegoats for individual or groups that feel threatened

It may be due to socialization (e.g. authoritarian personality)

It may be the animal instinct of territoriality and feral restraint.

It may be mere bigotry and ignorance

It may be egotism and inflexible ethnocentrism

Elements of racism

an underlying belief in the superiority of one race over another and its right to dominate.

generalizing one group of people by believing in simplistic stereotypes of that group.

affects every aspect of the lives of communities of colour: social, economic, political, health, etc.

Elements of racism

Prejudice: A preconceived, unreasonable judgement or opinion of people or situations.

Where prejudice is negative it often results in harmful or unfavourable consequences for the victim

Prejudice may have social & biological basis

Stereotypes and their function

Stereotypes are relatively fixed sets of oversimplified beliefs about people or events

Stereotypes are often over generalisations about people and their assumed defining characteristics

Social cognitive theories of prejudice & stereotyping

Prejudice and discrimination may stem from the misuse of:

1)cognitive heuristics

2)categorisation and stereotyping of in-groups and out-groups

3)information processing and the inability to deal with complex data (need for shortcuts)

Racism types

Individual racism refers to the prejudicial beliefs and discriminatory behavior of individuals.

Institutional racism refers to the policies that restrict the opportunities of minorities.

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