Prejudice vs discrimination | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy

Prejudice vs discrimination | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy


– What is prejudice? Prejudice is simply
attitudes that prejudge a group, and they’re usually negative, and they’re not based
on any sort of facts. So prejudiced individuals,
they usually lump together people with certain
characteristics and they just put them into one big
undifferentiated group assuming that everybody’s
the same, and they never even consider the individual’s
talents or differences. A really good example that came up in my sociology class was that
there is a sexist CEO, and he just doesn’t think that women are capable of running an executive team. That’s his attitude,
that’s just how he feels. So now let’s take a quick
look at discrimination. Discrimination is differential treatment and harmful actions against minorities. So the big differentiation
here is actions. Action is being taken, so you
sort of act on your prejudice. I like to think of it as
you’re going a step further. So going back to our previous
example with the sexist CEO, we already know that
he doesn’t like women, but say there’s a women
who is very capable. She’s been with the company for 10+ years. She’s extremely deserving of
the promotion and the raise, but if the CEO decides not to promote her and give her the job, and
instead he gives it to his buddy just because she’s a woman,
that’s discrimination. That’s the big differentiation here. And a lot of times, I
find the best way to learn about these concepts is through history, so we’ll take a look at
this situation right here. In this image right
here, we have two women of Jewish descent during World War II. And in World War II, in Germany and in German-controlled lands,
people of Jewish descent were required to wear these
yellow stars right here. So we now know from our
understanding that hey, this isn’t just prejudice,
this is discrimination because they’re being required to do this and there is an action
being taken against them. Another event from history that really helps us understand these
concepts is Apartheid, and Apartheid is the system
of extreme racial segregation in South Africa that took
place from 1948 to 1994. This sign was put up during
that period enforcing Apartheid, and it says, “For use
by white persons only.” So there’s definitely
prejudice here because there’s a negative
attitude toward minorties, anyone who’s not white, but
there’s also discrimination because there’s action being
taken against those minorities. So just to review, now we
know that prejudice is just a negative attitude which
is not based on any facts, and that discrimination is
acting on that negative attitude.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

3 thoughts on “Prejudice vs discrimination | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy

  1. Discrimination is the behavior or actions, usually negative, towards an individual or group of people, especially on the basis of sex/race/social class, etc.

  2. It's a distraction that you don't know how to properly pronounce the word, "prejudice" since it sounds like you're treating the J like a silent letter, or treating the J like a D.

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