How does a prejudice arise? It does not spring up all of a sudden. Its root is deeply embedded in certain experiences.
Certain prejudices crop up because of bad conditions and parental attitudes. When children become adults their behavior becomes a mirror of that of their parents, teachers and the entire society. Prejudices of children point to the notions of their parents and teachers. Prejudices are learnt therefore they may be forgotten also. Frenkel Brunswick in his investigations has found that parents of children who harbor the feeling of always try to maintain their prestige and they keep their children under certain control and supervision. The relationship between such parents and children is not so much of lover and affections as are found in parents of liberal children, and such children do not find much opportunity for self expression Consequently, their personality becomes narrow and stiff. Quite contrary to this, liberal children have more feeling of love and they get more affection also from their parents on a reciprocal basis. Therefore such children can show more love towards others.
They pay due care to the real ability in understanding others and they are spelldown guided by particular social values in estimating the worth of others. Each group imagines its own attitudes. On the same basis an individual develops other types of attitude for estimating people outside his own group. The first type of attitude is known as inter-group attitude and the second type as out-group attitude. Mutual relationship in the groups is determined according to these attitudes. Ethno centralism comes at the break when people estimate the worth of others on the basis of their own cultural criteria. Thus tension comes up due to the intergroup and intra-group attitudes. Some people develop prejudices and feelings of opposition against another group, because they do not correctly judge the people of the other group.
Some people consider others of low standard because of different race and heredity. But their attitude is changed when they come to know about the qualities of the race. Sometimes because of bitter experience, some people form wrong notion against the entire group, although the same type of bitter experience in one’s own group does not generate bad feeling. Thus it is just possible that due to one bitter experience an individual forms unfavorable attitude against the entire group.
Needless to remark that this type of idea is entirely unjust Various groups of people are found in our country India. Amongst the inhabitants of a single state there are people of various sub-cultures. Amongst Hindus a network of various castes is prone to generate prejudices in an individual against the entire people of particular castes. Such attitude will have to be changed in the interest of social progress.
Some people regard themselves so weak and unsafe that they try to oppress others for mitigating their frustrations. People belonging to the minority group are generally victims of such a frustration. When a large portion of population becomes victim of frustration, the result may be a revolt. Feeling of lack of protection may be at the root of some prejudices. Prejudices may also crop up due to one’s lack of ability, inadequate opportunity, inconveniences experienced during childhood and unfavorable social circumstances.
Harijans of our country may experience such difficulties. So it is quite natural for them to develop prejudices against certain groups.