Ethnic studies is both the comparative study of ethnicity and the study of the culture and history of particular ethnic groups within the United States and other countries. As the study of ethnicity, ethnic studies examines factors that account for the creation and maintenance of ethnic identity, the development of ethnic stereotypes and prejudice, and the quality of ethnic relations. In regard to particular ethnic groups, ethnic studies encourages the exploration of the specific histories, values and contributions of the country's many constituent groups. Ethnic studies provides the means to identify the prejudices and assumptions that have shaped traditional scholarship in the academic disciplines and to correct these biases.