Prejudice is also rooted in power.  The power of being in a majority group may strengthen the belief that people who are in some way outside this group pose a threat to it or are not as good in some way. This can help the majority group to feel secure in their identity or group membership and the minority group (or the outsiders) to feel ignored, threatened, powerless.

Power is also rooted in social institutions both large and seemingly remote such as education, health, government, and less remote – community groups, trade unions, workplaces.  These institutions are all made up of individuals who make decisions, have knowledge, set priorities, allocate resources and who are in position to exercise power over others, even in small ways and ways that are so subtle that we don’t think about it as ‘power’.

Are you in a position to wield ‘institutional power’ of any sort?

How might someone from a ‘protected group’ perceive you and therefore behave towards you?

In what ways might you have more power than the people that you want to ‘engage’ with?

What checks and balances are there on your power?



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