We can find many different definitions of what prejudices and stereotypes are. Our discussions have shown that sometimes we understand it a bit differently, so we tried to come up with our own definitions of the terms. If you have any comments, let us know down below.
What is prejudice?
Prejudice is sort of a mental program in our head, a collection of statements we firmly believe are true, something that automatically and without critical assessment rates, judges, initiates emotions and activates actions against a certain person, group of people, situation, place or even ourselves, based on generalised and indubitable previous experiences, communications and assessments of other people.
Commonly occurring prejudices can be found in our Encyclopedia of prejudices
What is a social stereotype?
Social stereotype is a set of ideas or mental images about a certain group of people, that influences our perception of this group. Based on this, we don’t judge someone according to a specific experience with him, but rather according to the affiliation with his social group. Stereotypes are again taken over uncritically, mainly from other people and the media.
As you could see, our Encyclopedia is divided into groups of people, to whom prejudices apply.
What is a label?
Label is usually a derogatory term for a person or a group of people. In addition to simplifying identification, labels usually carry some sort of judgment with them, very often negative ones. Labeling helps people who use it to simplify the complex world we live in. From many different individuals with their own opinions, attitudes and their own behavior, labeling makes a single, easily definable mass. It usually polarizes society and forces people to join one side or the other, there are no points in-between for people who think with labels.
Ex.: As a result of the immigration crisis, you are either a truth-lover or a xenophobe. Regarding your stance towards the European Union, you are labeled either as a Europhile or Euroskeptic. Another well-known labels are for example the Pražská kavárna (Prague café), dumb journalists or tradesman-parasite.