• Learning for LifeandWork

Causes of Prejudice and Discrimination

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Prejudice is when we pre-judge people based on what we have heard and is not always based on fact. Prejudice is the thought.

Discrimination is to act on the prejudice and to treat people unfairly because of the group that they belong to. Discrimination is the action.


Causes of prejudice and discrimination are because of the following reasons:


1. Ignorance - often people's knowledge and understanding of another group of people is based on stereotypical ideas and beliefs. They usually do not know enough about the person or group of people and so feel threatened. There is a lack of understanding and ignorance about a culture or cultural practices and this can lead to conflict.

2. Experience - a young person may have had a ‘bad’ experience of others who identify with a certain group of people. The young person may develop negative, stereotypical views about everyone of this religion or race or group of people and hence become prejudiced.

3. The media - sometimes the media can present a negative image of people with different cultures or religion or race and this can influence people's perception of that group.

4. Friends/peers - friends may hold negative, stereotypical views about other cultures and identities which could cause a young person to accept these views as a way of trying to remain as part of a friendship group.

5. Family members - Parents and other family members may hold strong, negative views about people of different cultures and identities. A young person may accept these views and may begin to develop the same attitudes and beliefs.


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