Despite the steps taken to reduce prejudice and discrimination on the part of society, they are still widespread all over the world. This can cause a lot of difficulties and suffering to an individual or an entire group, which leads to limited opportunities for people belonging to this group, and even violence.

Due to a number of similarities between these two concepts, people often mistake prejudice for discrimination, but these are two very different concepts. Prejudice is a preconceived opinion without any information or reason, while discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of different categories of people on various grounds, such as age, race, gender, religious beliefs, and so on.

The term “prejudice” means bias, that is, an irrational opinion, thought or feeling formed about a person or group in advance without sufficient knowledge, facts or reasons. Prejudice can be positive or negative. However, this term is mainly used to denote negative biases in which members belonging to a certain group are considered inferior based on race, gender, nationality, ethnicity, class, religion.

“Discrimination” means unequal treatment of a person because of his/her belonging to a certain group or having some other character trait. Most often, people are discriminated against on the basis of age, gender, height, weight, skin color, illness, disability, marital status, education, speech, clothing, socio-economic status, and so on.

Key differences between prejudice and discrimination:

MeaningPrejudice is an unjustified and baseless attitude towards an individual only because of his membership of a social groupDiscrimination refers to unjust or negative treatment of a person or a group from other people because he/she belongs to a particular class, group or category
What is it?Abstract misapprehension, only in the mindExpression of prejudice
Caused byStereotypingPrejudice
ComponentCognitive and AffectiveBehavioral
Legal actionCannot be taken against itCan be taken against it

Examples of these two concepts in modern society:

In Kazakhstan, women are suitable for routine work, and men are suitable for making big decisionsMen do everything carelessly and do not distinguish colors well, so their work needs to be checked
The average man is stronger than the average woman, in conflict situations men can hit and hit hardHostesses should be women, they are more accommodating
Women like to dress up, they need to be complimentedWomen should be banned from working in some jobs
If a woman wears a hijab, she can’t wear makeupWomen are not allowed to wear religious clothing or symbols in the workplace
If a Muslim performs prayer, he is most susceptible to committing a terrorist attackA person with a disability cannot be a taxi driver

To sum up, prejudice means holding opinions about someone without knowing the facts or evidence. These are the inner thoughts and feelings of a person, which do not always lead to action. Unlike discrimination, which means unequal treatment or different treatment of people based on individual feelings and preferences, which is very obvious. This is antisocial behavior, present in almost all countries, which can cause stress and tension among various groups, and can also lead to harm to the group it is aimed at.

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