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Discrimination and Prejudice

While often used interchangeably in everyday dialogue, prejudice and discrimination actually refer to two different yet interrelated concepts. Prejudice refers to a value judgment either in favor of or against a person or a thing and stems from the Latin root for “prejudgment.” It is an attitude. Discrimination, on the other hand, refers to the active exclusion of a group of people from a desired benefit or advantage. It is an action. Prejudicial attitudes, even when negative, do not always result in discrimination. Therefore, for example, two employers who are prejudiced against Irish people may manifest their prejudices differently. One person, even though he or she in private may tell jokes about Irish people, may still hire an Irish employee. Nevertheless, the person is prejudiced ...

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