Prejudice and Classism in today’s society


Cambridge dictionary defines prejudice as “an unfair and unreasonable opinion or feeling, especially when formed without enough thought or knowledge “… But what really is prejudice? In the Arabic language there are roots of specific words that create the meaning of such word. If we look at the word “prejudice” we can easily figure out the meaning, “pre” meaning before or prior and “judice” to judge.

This prefixes and root words put together means to judge before without context, facts, nor evidence. There cannot be an accurate judgement this way and it is unfair.

These facts and evidence come from knowledge and research which led us to the truth. How to find such truths, well this is where the news, reporters, researchers, and journalist come into play. But now more than ever we have to turn away from the news and media streams cause a high percentage of it has been non-factual or reports a low amount of facts and we are left to do research. This is actually a great way to find the truth – to go and experience different things and acquire the knowledge to draw their own conclusions.

So, this takes me to the next point of class: that the media would make us believe that the glamorous life some rich people live is the real life. Why else would it be that now days there are more and more celebrities showcasing their life? With glamor and fame there are issues which are not necessarily showcased. But such things create a sense of consumerism in us and we feel that we have to do this in order to feel fulfilled. Then we realise the gap. Mainly the gap is in wealth, which is one of the many determinations of classism. This makes people think 1) they must have and need this (which is not true) 2) that if they do not have these certain things that they are being told that they should have then they do not belong in a particular setting and people will look down on them. Yet in reality that shouldn’t be the case. We should have what we need to survive and if we have the means for luxury then great, but if not we should be satisfied. Thanks to consumerism that might not be the case.

Classism, like many of the other isms, creates division and segregation between groups of people. The biggest contribution to classism in my opinion comes from consumerism and materialism which are making the gap even larger between socioeconomical classes. In regard to classism, both education (which doesn’t need to be higher than a high school diploma) and economic situation effect the social aspect. In most situations the social part is that we can get a good job or get into a university or college primarily through the connections we have. Hence some people might have the best education and yet not have the best jobs.

I stated above that social aspect is the most effective because wealth can come and go, yet education does not determine class because we see countless exceptions to that. Along with skills and ability, they can be learned through time and effort, but with the social aspect the people we know and the connections we have are what the determining factor.

From experience, when I finished my education here in America and went to Egypt, being educated in America is considered a “high degree of achievement” and the experiences I did with non-profits and other organization for the duration of my 4 year education did not net me any opportunities to work in Egypt. Even though I come from a good standing “class” in Egypt, I have seen that some of the people that took the jobs I applied for or in generally speaking, were educated in Egypt, are dropouts. Yet I saw that they had a friend of a friend or friend of the family or some degree of social network relation to the hire manager, and that was the factor in them getting the job.

The above is just one aspect of Classism that could be affected by social networking. Other aspects of classism would be education, wealth, status etc. I only highlighted from my experience what I believe to be an important aspect that can cause a domino effect.

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