Recent studies suggest that prejudice is increasing on campuses around the country. Study this question using observation and interviews. Be sure to keep these results anonymous.
1) Sample & Incidents of Discrimination. Choose four people to interview; two of these people should have minority status; two should have majority status (broadly defined—i.e., a minority is anyone who has ever been part of a group in an environment that comprised less than 50% of a population). Ask these four people to report incidents of discrimination that they have personally encountered themselves or witnessed others encountering. Summarize this in one paragraph.
2) Disliked Groups, Attitude Formation & Change. Also ask them to name groups of people that they dislike and why. Ask them how this attitude formed in them. (Listen carefully; let them tell their story). In particular, probe for whether or not they formed a negative attitude through a stereotype presented through mass media or rumor. Ask them what (if any) event(s) would they have to experience, or information would they have to hear, in order for their attitude to become positive? Summarize responses to these three questions in one to two paragraphs.
3) Racial Spatial Patterns. Next, observe large classrooms to see if seating is racially patterned. Finally, observe large groups of students in at least two other settings (cafeteria, hockey game, quarter mile, etc.) to see if the groups are segregated. If appropriate, ask if you can sit with one of these groups one day, and then sit close (or among) one of these groups which you are not part of (e.g., in class, at lunch, at a club meeting). Summarize your observations and your reactions, and where and how you made them.
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