Prejudice and Discrimination

Two common words, prejudice and discrimination, are often conflated or seen as two sides of a single coin. They are clearly connected but are not synonymous. Put simply, prejudice refers to preconceived negative attitudes about specific people; discrimination is targeted behavior.

Like other attitudes, prejudice (the word is derived from the Latin praejudicium, meaning to prejudge) has several components: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. The first refers to beliefs, even those that may be and frequently are erroneous (“All Slobovians are terrorists”). The second refers to emotions (“Whenever I see a White person I get nervous”). The third refers to a readiness to act (“I know what I'm going to do when I go into that neighborhood where those people live”). According to sociologist Arnold M. Rose, ...

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