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Beginning in infancy, children notice the ethnicity and gender of people around them. Throughout childhood, they develop preferences and beliefs about these social groups. They also learn that people, including themselves, may be treated unfairly or discriminated against because of their ethnic or gender group. From childhood through the rest of the life span, individuals will continue to hold prejudices and biases that will shape many of their future interactions, although they are often not conscious of those biases. In addition, depending on their own ethnicity and gender, many individuals will also spend the life span being the target of discrimination, with consequences for their academic outcomes, psychological well-being, and physical health. This entry presents an overview of the social dynamics of prejudice and discrimination, ...

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