One of the objectives of this course is to push students to evaluate their own biases, prejudices or misunderstandings. Students will, therefore, write a reflection paper (5-7 pages long) that assesses their own preconceptions about issues or people. Students may not feel comfortable admitting or writing about their biases but it is important to remember that the first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one.
You could write about a certain episode that happened in the past or you could write about a continuing struggle. Assess that prejudice through the lens of theories. No one is born prejudices but we learn it as we grow up. In your case, how did you learn about the prejudice, how do you believe you internalized it to the point where you started disliking the specific people/group? Use theories to analyze this learned behavior so that we know how behaviors are learned and imbibed in our lives.
You must include the following sections in your paper:
- Introduction – name the prejudice/bias, definitions, issues or groups you are referring to, any particular experience that led to it,
- sources of bias
- Your thoughts, feelings, preconceived notions
- Relevant theories on how this belief was learned, reinforced
- Theories like system perspective, conflict perspective, social constructive perspective, exchange and choice perspective (these are the theory of human behavior)
- How it informed your behavior or your worldview
- What you are doing about it