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Racism, Sexism and Socioeconomic Prejudice in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

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People are not born prejudiced. “It is something that is learned". It can be learned in the same way other attitudes and values are learned, primarily through association, reinforcement and modeling. For example, children may learn to associate a particular ethnic group with poverty, crime, violence and other negative things” (2006 Anti-Defamation League). Also, prejudice in “children may be reinforced by listening to derogatory ethnic jokes, especially when others laugh along or think they're cool”. Lastly, children may simply imitate the prejudices of their older family members and popular friends. Prejudice is to pre- judge. “Prejudice is a baseless and usually negative attitude toward members of a group. Common features of prejudice include negative feelings, stereotyped beliefs and a tendency to discriminate against members of the group”. (Kendra Van Wagner) Therefore, people are not born prejudiced but it is something learned by family, friends, peers and the media. There are many different types of prejudice. The three that are most current in the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee are racism, sexism and socioeconomic prejudice.
Racism is a big problem in many people’s lives. Throughout history, many groups and cultures have been significantly affected by racism. African Americans are an example of a group of people who have suffered the effects of racism. In 1867 the “Ku Klux Klan, was founded as a secret organization terrorized the African Americans and the black population at large. The group indulged in brutally murdering the black community and anyone socially advocating their cause. In the Southern states, the Colfax and Coushatta massacres in 1873 and 1874 were just some of the many brutal assaults launche...


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...r job is a profession. Subsequently, they have nicer houses and may come from a family with money. These socioeconomic differences lead to multiple problems and conflicts.
Therefore, the world is a very prejudice place. Everyday people are dealing with racism, sexism, socioeconomic prejudice and other related problems. People are not born being prejudiced, it is something that is learned depending on a multitude of factors, such as their race, sex, living conditions, economic situation and education.


Works Cited
Anti-Defamation League, 2006- http://www.adl.org/education/miller/q_a/references.asp
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kendra Van Wagner - http://psychology.about.com/od/pindex/g/prejudice.htm
Megaessay, 1- http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/12799.html
Prashant Magar,3, 5/19/2009 - http://www.buzzle.com/articles/racism-against-african-americans.html


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