Tyler, S. (2020, May 26). Chapter 7: Reducing Discrimination. Human Behavior and the Social Environment I. Retrieved January 6, 2022, from https://uark.pressbooks.pub/hbse1/chapter/reducing-discrimination_ch_7/
Background & Theory
This study provides heavy insight into the causes of discrimination and how to reduce it in the workplace and in our society. This research article focuses on summarizing how intergroup contact and communication can influence our perceptions around prejudice and biased opinions around others. Ultimately the main goal is learning how to shift ideologies and thought process to create positive impact and change.
Researcher Susan Tyler in “Reducing Discrimination in Human Behavior and the Social Environment” sought to answer the following questions:
- What are some ways to reduce prejudice and discrimination in our world?
- How does intergroup contact and communication influence our perceptions?
There are three distinct methods included in the study: furthering education, clear communication with others, and recategorization.
One pertinent method discussed in this article to reduce discrimination is by educating ourselves more thoroughly. Research shows that individuals that enroll themselves in higher learning that are related to stereotypes, prejudice, gender, and ethnic diversity are able to unlock their subconscious mind on a higher level to have more compassion and empathy towards others that differ from them.
The second method involves direct, honest, and transparent communication with others when discrimination is taking place. At this level, there is an obligation for each individual to speak up and have the courage to reduce discrimination by uniting as a team and standing up for each other. Studies show that when people fail to confront prejudice behavior, guilt and shame follow them throughout their life. By using effective communication tools, it is beneficial for both parties to discuss this topic to learn from one another and be open to different diverse perspectives.
Furthermore, the third method involves gravitating to others that differ from us to create an atmosphere of inclusion. In simple terms, this is the benefit of recategorization. If implemented correctly, research shows that intergroup communication with diverse individuals will allow us to grow and flourish in our relationships. Interdependence and cooperation translate into common group identity which then leads to favorable attitudes.
The results of this study indicate that by changing social norms as a united front, we will be able to live in harmony. With people furthering their education around these topics, the conversations around them become normalized. With that being said, communicating and standing up for one another through discriminatory situations will move us closer to one another creating a cohesive environment.
What This Means
- Changing our subconscious thoughts around stereotypes and prejudiced opinions isn’t easy, but with further education we can learn to understand each other more effectively.
- Intergroup communication will ultimately shift attitudes in a positive manner where we can lead people to focus on their diverse connections with others.
For consultants: Diversity in conflict resolution is key because it allows us consultants to gain new perspectives, heightened self-awareness, and educational tools to navigate through workplace conflict.
For everyone: Diversity in our world is what makes us grow and flourish in our relationships by learning from each other’s experiences.