This essay will focus on the meaning of prejudice and discrimination. This essay will also describe the difference between prejudice and discrimination. This essay will then examine if socially constructed ideas about race and ethnicity lead to discrimination and how this may do so.
Prejudice is a strong influence on how people interact and behave towards others, this especially applies to people that are different to them. This perception on people is usually negative and often leads to stereotyping and discrimination (Cherry, 2018). Prejudice is criticizing a group based on sex such as people that are involved with others who are the same sex for example gays and lesbians. Another factor that influences prejudice is gender, In the past there was two types of genders which was masculine and feminine. In modern society there is many different types of genders such as transgenders.
Transgender is a concept for individuals whose gender identity changes after birth for example at birth thye may be a male but later on in life they decide they are not comfortable in their bodies and would prefer to be a female, they may under-go surgery to change their identity or they may change their appearance by wearing a dress, wig or make up. Agender is a person who does not consider themselves male or female they consider themselves neutral (Kelly, 2016). Another gender is polygender, this is when one person identifies themselves with many different genders, this can be at different times or all together this term is usually labelled to one person when they have four or more gender (Kelly, 2016). Everyone has some type of prejudice towards others depending on personal experiences such as one person seeing a minority group such as travellers and automatically thinking that they engage in criminal activity. We also judge the travelling community on the appearance and their personality traits.
Discrimination is unfair treatment to one person based on different beliefs, cultural matters and race (etc.) Discrimination can occur due to skin colour, race, sex, gender, beliefs, disability, age, pregnancy or different background’s (etc.) There are many types of discrimination these include individual discrimination and institutional discrimination. Individual discrimination is discrimination which is carried out by one individual towards another. Institutional discrimination is discrimination which can be carried out by workplaces, institutions, and schools.
Discrimination in the workplace can be carried out due to one persons beliefs that one individual is better than another in the workplace. This can then cause many problems for the person being discriminated against for example they could not work to their best of their ability, they may become self-explicit this may lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Prejudice has a big impact on discrimination. If one individual is prejudice against another this may lead to discrimination. For example if a senior citizen saw an individual that classed themselves as a different gender to what they are biologically born as, the senior citizen is only familiar with viewing two types of genders which are masculine and feminine. There is many differences between prejudice and discrimination. A person that is prejudice may silently judge a certain minority whereas someone that discriminates acts on their judgement. Another difference between discrimination and prejudice is prejudice is categorised into three compounds that are based on behavior. These compounds are cognitive (brain), affective and behavioral.
Discrimination has just one compound which is just behavioral (Mcleod, 2008). Cognitive behavior is a theory that believes behavior and emotions develop by peoples negative thinking patterns over a long period of time. Affective behaviour is primarily about the way people react. This is through an emotional aspect in which it describes the ability to feel what other living things feel, for example through another person’s pain or happiness, it is primarily to do with feelings, behaviours or attitudes. Some behaviours in this topic are not mentioned in other domains such as cognitive domains. Beliefs, emotions and attitudes are the important values in topic. Behavioural discrimination is when a person is discriminated against for such things in which they may or may not have any control over themselves. These things are race, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, age and religious beliefs. Such discrimination against the people which are in topic could be shown through racial harassment, sexual harassment or any other types of harassment.
Race is a group of people viewed as having identical physical aspects in common with one another. Race is based upon many aspects of a person including skin colour, nationality, hair and eye color (etc.). These physical characteristics are usually based upon genetics from our ancestors. Racial discrimination can occur in many places like schools, institutions, workplaces and many more different areas. Racial discrimination can occur in the work place due to unfair dismissal, unfair working conditions, unfair pay and assumed race in the workplace (etc.). These actions are forbidden in the workplace under the human rights commission (Washington state department of labor & industries, n.d.).
Racism can also occur in institutions, this can happen due to different beliefs, different religions differences in social backgrounds. A stereotype on someone or something is an idea that others have on what that person or thing is like, it is that specific people act a certain way. This is usually a very set idea of what the person is like, and in most cases the stereotype is wrong and not a reflect of reality. Racial stereotypes is stereotyping someone because of their physical characteristics such as skin colour, in other words race. Other aspects involve with racial stereotypes could be their beliefs, group or nationality status or if they differ from what other peoples society and cultural norms.