Compare and Contrast Discrimination and Prejudice

Topics: United States, Discrimination, Immigration to the United States Pages: 6 (1859 words) Published: April 29, 2007
Compare and Contrast Discrimination and Prejudice.
What are the Functions and Dysfunctions of immigration?
Why do you feel that people still feel disadvantaged even though their incomes are rising and housing circumstances have improved?

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines prejudice and discrimination as:


(1) : injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights; especially : detriment to one's legal rights or claims

(2) a. (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion (2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics.


(1) a. : the act of discriminating b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently

(2) : the quality or power of finely distinguishing

(3) a. : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually b : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment

1. The main difference between prejudice and discrimination is, prejudice is some preconceived notion about an individual, a group, or a race that demonstrate some sort of judgment upon them. This idea of prejudice is usually kept inside of the individual, so as to have a quiet judgment among people. Discrimination, however, is prejudice put into practice. Those who discriminate actively practice prejudice; it is no longer kept inside, but rather openly practiced against the people. Prejudice is best described as an attitude towards a certain group of peoples based solely on their membership in that social or ethnic group, but discrimination is an action taken against those members, the behavioral manifestation of prejudice.

The practices of prejudice and discrimination come from an individual's perception of a certain group. These predetermined perceptions of a group usually come from stereotypes of a people, or racial profiling. The impact of stereotypes, directly affect the perceptions of a people in a negative way; when we think of those people, these traits come to mind. When we meet people from this group, we will focus more on those traits and process them before others. Stereotyping affects our social judgments about a group of people: how much we like the person, our mood and attitudes toward the person, as well as our expectations from that person.

Racial profiling is not much off from the principles of stereotyping. Racial profiling is the use of race as a consideration in suspect profiling or other law enforcement practices. This ties into stereotyping in that we suspect suspicious activity from a particular race or people based solely on their ethnicity. A common example of racial profiling would be "DWB" or "driving while black". This is the practice of police or other law enforcement officers targeting African Americans for traffic stops because they believe that African Americans are more likely to be engaged in criminal activity

Overall, one could say that one instance leads to another. Stereotyping can lead to prejudice, which can lead to discrimination. Stereotyping fuels prejudice, though people are not willing to admit this. They will not admit to stereotyping or being prejudiced, or discriminating, yet they belied and practice them every day.

2. Immigration plays a huge role in the population of the United States. The U.S is looked at as a place for a new start and a place to begin a new life. This country gives people the opportunity to make their own choices and have their own freedom, who are we to decide who can have these rights or not. Should Americans really have to right to deny another human being the right to live in this beautiful country? America is a wonderful place to live,...
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