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Racial Prejudice What is prejudice? - set of learned beliefs and values that lead a person to be biased against other members of other groups. -prejudices are convenient(bequem,brauchbar,passend) and inaccurate. ----> people are not seen as individuals, biased people label other people to special groups -prejudice is mostly based on inaccurate information about people Prejudice originates from three common parts(these parts make up a prejudiced belief): 1.Generalisations -a very broad , simple statement about a group of people -here is perhaps an appropiate point to provide an example:"All catholics" or when the word "they" figures strongly -key words for generalisations are "all" and "they" --->generalisations are also very inaccurate , because we are not justified in saying that all members of these group or race share the same characteristic features. G. are unfair descriptions
We know most foreign cultures, and much of our own culture, by reputation only. Actually, we have an "image" of the English, Scottish and Irish, Belgian, French or Spanish national character. Even though we personally may know a handful of people from those countries, we cannot evaluate how "typical" these persons are as representatives of their nation. But many people have no problems in recognizing certain temperamental attributes as being "typical" for certain nations: the Scottish reputation for stinginess, the Belgian reputation for stupidity, the Spanish reputation for pride are well known for us from jokes and stories which rely on a knowledge of those attributes. As a result we consider all the Scottish to be tight-fisted, the Belgian to be foolish etc. I judge most of the national stereotypes to be concocted. Once perceived
George Mikes (1912--1987) was a Hungarian-born British author, most famous for his commentaries on various countries, starting from his first book How to be an alien which poked gentle fun at the English, including a one-line chapter on sex: "Continental people have sex lives; the English have hot-water bottles." Subsequent books dealt with (among others) Japan (The land of the rising yen), Israel (Milk and honey, The prophet motive), the USA (How to scrape skies), and the United Nations (How to unite nations), and the British again (How to be inimitable, How to be decadent).
How to be an alien (1946) was the first book by George Mikes. It poked gentle fun at the English and their relationship with foreigners, written from his perspective as a fresh immigrant from Hungary. The book is characterised by much humour, affection and a total lack of rancour or bitterness. Perhaps influenced by the works of the prolific and (in the English-speaking world) little-known satirical writer Frigyes Karinthy , Mikes demonstrated not only his knowledge of English society but an insight into the English language.
Quotations about the British
On the Continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners.
An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.
English humor resembles the Loch Ness Monster in that both are famous but there is a strong suspicion that neither exists.
The trouble with tea is that originally it was quite a good drink. So a group of the most eminent British scientists put their heads together, and made complicated biological experiments to find a way of spoiling it. To the eternal glory of British science their labor bore fruit.
Many Continentals think life is a game; the English think cricket is a game.
The world still consists of two clearly divided groups: the English and the foreigners. One group consists of less than 50 million people; the other of 3,950 million. The latter group does not really count.
Jokes are better than war. Even the most aggressive jokes are better than the least aggressive wars. Even the longest jokes are better than the shortest wars.