Difference between the Stereotypes, Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Updated November 17, 2021

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Difference between the Stereotypes, Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination essay

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A widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.Association and attribution of specific characteristic to a group. The “isms” reinforce, and are reinforced by, another common and potentially destructive form of prejudice, stereotypes. Stereotypes are beliefs that generalize certain exaggerated traits to an entire category of people.

These common images can assign either positive or negative traits to various groups. They may arise out of observations of behaviors or traits that the observer applied to all people in the actor’s category (sex, ethnicity, club membership, hair color, etc.). Like the “isms,” stereotypical beliefs are used to justify unequal treatment of groups. If stereotypes are accepted by the people to which they refer, they can also become self-fulfilling prophecies. (Stolley, 2005)


An attitude reflecting an overall evaluation of a group.A preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.The institute of medicine defines it as “ differences in the quality of healthcare access that are not due to access-related fectors or clinical needs, preferences and appropriateness of intervention’’.Prejudice is an unjust or or incorrect attitude(usually negative) towards an individual based solely on the individual’s membership of a social group.


Biased behavior towards and treatment of a group or its members. The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex. (Stolley, 2005)

The institute of medicine identifies discriminatory heath care practices on 2 levels: the health care structure(systemic destrimination) and discrimination that results from biases, prejudice, stereotyping and uncertainty in clinical communication.


The belief that one racial or ethnic group is naturally inferior or superior, thus justifying unequal treatment of the group on the basis of their assumed characteristics. A Prejudice discrimination or antagonism directed against someone of different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior or inferior . Racism is still alive and well, although less overt than in the past. However, institutional racism is rampant. It manifests in patterns of residential ,educational and health care segregation. The result is a social structure that adversely impacts the chances of those subjected to prejudice and discrimination. (Stolley, 2005)

The Difference between Stereotype, prejudice and discrimination

Stereotypes are regarded as the most cognitive component and often occurs without consecious awareness, whereas prejudice is the affective component of stereotyping and discrimination is one of the behavioral components of prejudicial reactions.

Discrimination, unequal treatment of people based on their group membership, also perpetuates stratification. Discrimination differs from prejudice. Prejudice is an attitude; discrimination is a behavior. Although the two may, and often do, occur together, they can also exist separately. When discrimination becomes part of the operation of social institutions, it is known as institutional discrimination. It perpetuates stratification patterns by systematically disadvantaging certain groups.

How these attributes compromise clients access to health care services. Interactions between patients and health care providers may induce stereotype threat, a phenomenon shown by extensive psychological reseach to generate negative effects in interpersonal contexts.

Harmful Effects

Efforts to ameliorate stereotype in health care contexts should be grounded in an understanding of how it gives rise to difficulties between providers and minolity patients.

The experience of stereotype has been shown to have direct effects on physiological, psychological and self – regulatory process that can contribute ill health.For example laboratory experiments stereotype threat elevates blood pressure, induces anxiety and increases aggressive behavior, overeating and host of failure self regulation.

Avoidance of Healthcare

To receive proper care, patients must seek it.Yet if stereotypes threat creates an unpleasant social climate, patients may avoid their providers. Minolity group members who perceive discrimination and report higher levels of mistrust are the patients most likely to miss medical appointments and delay needed or preventive medical care.

The implications are self evident; if minolity patients avoid interacting with health care providers, they place themselves at risk fior failure to arrest medical conditions before they become serious and they will be less likely to receive appropriate care

Even if patients do not avoid their providers ineffective communication can hinder their care providers need to know medical histories, habits and symptoms to offer the nost appropriate course of treatment.If a patient is experiencing stereotype threat communication can be compromised in several ways.

Similary, stereotype threat may influence what patients share with providers.Studies show that worries about stereotypes significantly influence how individuals present themselves.

Athough tension may arise from situational forces such as stereotype threat people care apt to lay blame for unpleasant interactions om their interaction partners. Patients may characterize their provoders as prejudiced which will likely further erode trust and warmth and increase the likelihood of avoidance behaviors. For providers, unpleasant, strained interactions and their effects on patients behavior may reinforce unflattering racial stereotype. Both of these effects can perpetuate a vicious cycle whereby contact serves to degrade the quality of the patients-provider relationship.

Elimination of prejudice, discrimination, stereotype and racism in health care provision

Providing written documentation and instruction that combine standardized information with information tailored to needs of the patient may help overcome the recall and comprehension problem associated with stereotype and therefore improve adherence.Moreover referring to a standardized information sheet in the clinical encounters can convey to minolity patients that they are receiving the same services.Inforamtion outlining a range of potential treatment options for patients with a given diagnosis it may help alleviate susoecion that better , more expensive treatment are offered only to minolity patients.

Information tailored to specific patients can be included to add a personal touch to the interaction and signal that the patient, although being given the same options as other patients is perceived by the physician as an individual not simply on among many patients or stereotypical member of a minority group.

Difference between the Stereotypes, Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination essay

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Difference between the Stereotypes, Racism, Prejudice, and Discrimination. (2021, Nov 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/difference-between-the-stereotypes-racism-prejudice-and-discrimination/


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