Team English - Examples.com
Created by: Team English - Examples.com, Last Updated: May 27, 2024


Discrimination involves treating individuals or groups unfairly based on characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, or disability. People encounter discrimination in various aspects of life, including workplaces, schools, and social settings. Discriminatory practices create barriers, limit opportunities, and perpetuate inequality. Understanding discrimination’s forms and impacts is crucial for promoting fairness and inclusion. People aged forty-five and above find it very hard to land a job due to their age, regardless of their skill or potential. This fact is a very good example of age discrimination or ageism in the hiring practices of many businesses.

What Is Discrimination?

Discrimination is the act of doing something negative which is a result of a predetermined belief that is often obtained through prejudicial thinking. Discrimination is often a frowned upon action that is illegal when done in specific situations and may result in the infringing of various anti-discrimination policies.

Discrimination Examples

  1. Racial Discrimination: Denying someone a job interview because of their race.
  2. Gender Discrimination: Paying women less than men for the same job.
  3. Age Discrimination: Refusing to hire someone because they are over 50.
  4. Disability Discrimination: Not providing reasonable accommodations for an employee with a disability.
  5. Religious Discrimination: Firing an employee because they observe a religious holiday.
  6. Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Harassing someone at work because they are LGBTQ+.
  7. Pregnancy Discrimination: Not promoting a woman because she is pregnant.
  8. Marital Status Discrimination: Excluding someone from an event because they are single.
  9. National Origin Discrimination: Refusing service to someone because of their accent.
  10. Language Discrimination: Requiring only native English speakers for a job that does not need it.
  11. Weight Discrimination: Denying employment to someone because of their body size.
  12. Socioeconomic Discrimination: Treating someone unfairly due to their financial status.
  13. Educational Discrimination: Overlooking a qualified candidate because they attended a less prestigious school.
  14. Political Affiliation Discrimination: Treating an employee unfairly because of their political beliefs.
  15. Genetic Information Discrimination: Making employment decisions based on someone’s genetic information.
  16. Color Discrimination: Treating someone unfavorably because of their skin color, even within the same race.
  17. Hair Texture Discrimination: Penalizing someone for their natural hair texture or protective hairstyle.
  18. Mental Health Discrimination: Dismissing someone’s abilities because they have a mental health condition.
  19. Citizenship Discrimination: Preferring candidates with certain citizenship statuses for no valid reason.
  20. Family Status Discrimination: Not hiring someone because they have young children.
  21. Appearance Discrimination: Judging someone’s professional capability based on their physical appearance.
  22. Tattoo Discrimination: Refusing to employ someone because they have visible tattoos.
  23. Criminal History Discrimination: Automatically rejecting applicants with a criminal record, regardless of relevance.
  24. Military Status Discrimination: Not hiring a veteran due to misconceptions about their mental health.
  25. Work Schedule Discrimination: Penalizing employees who request flexible work hours for caregiving responsibilities.

In School


  1. Bullying Based on Race: A student is bullied by peers because of their skin color or ethnicity.
  2. Gender Discrimination: Girls are discouraged from joining the science club because it is considered a “boys’ activity.”
  3. Language Barriers: A student who is an English Language Learner (ELL) is excluded from group activities because they are not fluent in English.
  4. Disability Discrimination: A student with a physical disability is not provided with necessary accommodations for participating in sports or other school activities.
  5. Religious Discrimination: A student is mocked or excluded because of their religious practices, such as wearing a hijab or fasting during Ramadan.

In Real Life


  1. Racial Profiling: A person of color is stopped by the police more frequently than others in similar situations.
  2. Housing Discrimination: A landlord refuses to rent an apartment to a family because of their ethnicity.
  3. Healthcare Inequities: Patients from minority groups receive a lower standard of care compared to others.
  4. Service Denial: A customer is denied service in a restaurant because of their sexual orientation.
  5. Hate Crimes: Acts of violence are committed against individuals because of their race, religion, or gender identity.

At Work


  1. Unequal Pay: Women are paid less than men for performing the same job.
  2. Promotion Bias: Employees from minority groups are overlooked for promotions in favor of less qualified individuals from the majority group.
  3. Hostile Work Environment: Jokes or comments targeting someone’s race, gender, or sexual orientation are made, creating an uncomfortable work atmosphere.
  4. Hiring Discrimination: Job applications from candidates with ethnic-sounding names are less likely to receive callbacks for interviews.
  5. Age Discrimination: Older employees are forced into early retirement or not hired due to their age.

For Students


  1. Classroom Exclusion: A student is not allowed to participate in a class project because of their disability.
  2. Academic Tracking: Minority students are placed in lower-level classes regardless of their actual abilities or performance.
  3. Stereotyping: Teachers assume that students from certain ethnic backgrounds are less capable of succeeding academically.
  4. Extracurricular Exclusion: Students from low-income families are unable to join sports teams or clubs because of fees and other costs.
  5. Unfair Discipline: Students of color are more likely to receive harsher punishments than their peers for similar infractions.

For Kids


  1. Playground Bullying: Children are teased or excluded from playgroups because of their skin color, clothing, or language.
  2. Cultural Insensitivity: A child is ridiculed for bringing traditional ethnic food to school for lunch.
  3. Gender Norms: Boys are discouraged from playing with dolls or participating in activities traditionally associated with girls, and vice versa.
  4. Economic Discrimination: Kids from lower-income families are left out of birthday parties or playdates because they cannot afford to reciprocate.
  5. Exclusion from Activities: Children with disabilities are not included in games or sports because of their physical limitations.

Types of Discrimination

Types of Discrimination

1. Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their race or characteristics associated with race (such as skin color, hair texture, or facial features).

2. Gender Discrimination

Gender discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their sex or gender identity. This can include discrimination against women, men, non-binary individuals, and transgender people.

3. Age Discrimination

Age discrimination involves treating someone less favorably because of their age. This often affects older adults, but younger people can also be targets.

4. Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because they have a physical or mental impairment. This can include not providing reasonable accommodations or access.

5. Religious Discrimination

Religious discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their religious beliefs or practices. This can also include discrimination against those who do not hold religious beliefs.

6. Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Sexual orientation discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their sexual orientation, whether they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual.

7. Nationality Discrimination

Nationality discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their national origin or citizenship status. This can also include discrimination against immigrants and refugees.

8. Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy discrimination involves treating a woman unfavorably because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.

9. Marital Status Discrimination

Marital status discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because they are single, married, divorced, widowed, or in a domestic partnership.

10. Parental Status Discrimination

Parental status discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because they have children or because of their responsibilities as a parent.

11. Genetic Information Discrimination

Genetic information discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their genetic information, which includes information about an individual’s genetic tests and the genetic tests of their family members.

12. Socioeconomic Status Discrimination

Socioeconomic status discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their economic and social position, which includes their income, education, and occupation.

13. Height and Weight Discrimination

Height and weight discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their body size or shape. This can affect both underweight and overweight individuals.

14. Language Discrimination

Language discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their native language or other characteristics of their language skills.

15. Political Affiliation Discrimination

Political affiliation discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their political beliefs or affiliations.

16. Criminal Record Discrimination

Criminal record discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their criminal history. This can affect employment, housing, and other areas.

17. Education Discrimination

Education discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of their level of education or the institution from which they received their education.

Discrimination Psychology

Discrimination psychology examines the mental processes and behaviors associated with unfair treatment based on certain characteristics, such as race, gender, age, and more. Understanding the psychological aspects of discrimination helps in addressing its root causes and mitigating its impacts.

Psychological Mechanisms Behind Discrimination

  1. Stereotyping
    • Definition: Stereotyping involves making generalized beliefs about a group of people.
    • Impact: These oversimplified views can lead to biased judgments and discriminatory actions.
    • Example: Assuming all elderly individuals are frail and incapable of learning new technologies.
  2. Prejudice
    • Definition: Prejudice is a preconceived opinion not based on reason or actual experience.
    • Impact: Prejudices often lead to negative attitudes and discriminatory behavior towards certain groups.
    • Example: Holding a negative view about a specific race without any personal experience.
  3. Social Identity Theory
    • Definition: This theory suggests people categorize themselves and others into groups (in-groups and out-groups).
    • Impact: Favoritism towards one’s in-group and discrimination against out-groups can occur.
    • Example: Preferring to hire candidates from one’s own cultural background.
  4. Implicit Bias
    • Definition: Implicit biases are unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that affect understanding, actions, and decisions.
    • Impact: These biases can influence behavior without conscious awareness, leading to unintentional discrimination.
    • Example: An employer unknowingly favoring male candidates over female ones due to gender stereotypes.
  5. Scapegoating
    • Definition: Scapegoating involves blaming a person or group for problems they did not cause.
    • Impact: This can lead to unjust treatment and persecution of the blamed group.
    • Example: Immigrants being blamed for economic downturns and facing discrimination as a result.

Psychological Effects of Discrimination

  1. Mental Health Issues
    • Impact: Victims of discrimination often experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.
    • Example: A person facing racial discrimination at work may develop chronic stress and depression.
  2. Decreased Self-Esteem
    • Impact: Repeated exposure to discriminatory behavior can lead to a diminished sense of self-worth.
    • Example: A student constantly bullied for their weight may suffer from low self-esteem and confidence issues.
  3. Increased Stress Levels
    • Impact: Discrimination creates a hostile environment that increases stress and reduces overall well-being.
    • Example: An LGBTQ+ individual experiencing discrimination might feel constant fear and stress in social settings.
  4. Social Withdrawal
    • Impact: Discrimination can lead individuals to withdraw from social interactions to avoid further prejudice.
    • Example: A person with a disability might isolate themselves to avoid being treated differently.
  5. Impaired Cognitive Functioning
    • Impact: The stress and anxiety from discrimination can negatively affect cognitive processes such as memory and decision-making.
    • Example: A student facing discrimination might perform poorly academically due to impaired concentration and memory.

Combating Discrimination in Psychology

  1. Awareness and Education
    • Strategy: Educating individuals about different forms of discrimination and their impacts can reduce prejudices and biases.
    • Example: Anti-bias training programs in workplaces to raise awareness.
  2. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Strategy: CBT can help individuals reframe negative thought patterns related to discrimination and build resilience.
    • Example: Therapy sessions focusing on building self-esteem and coping mechanisms for victims of discrimination.
  3. Promoting Inclusivity
    • Strategy: Creating inclusive environments that value diversity and promote equity can reduce discriminatory behaviors.
    • Example: Implementing diversity and inclusion policies in schools and workplaces.
  4. Intergroup Contact
    • Strategy: Encouraging positive interactions between different groups can reduce stereotypes and prejudice.
    • Example: Community programs that bring people from diverse backgrounds together to collaborate on common goals.
  5. Policy Changes
    • Strategy: Enforcing anti-discrimination laws and policies can help protect individuals from unfair treatment.
    • Example: Equal employment opportunity laws that prohibit discrimination in hiring practices.

How to Cope with Discrimination

Coping with discrimination can be challenging, but there are effective strategies and resources that can help individuals manage the emotional and psychological impacts. Here are some practical steps to cope with discrimination:

1. Recognize and Acknowledge the Discrimination

  • Acknowledge Feelings: Understand that feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration are valid and normal responses to discrimination.
  • Document Incidents: Keep a record of discriminatory incidents, including dates, times, locations, and descriptions of what happened. This can be useful for reporting and seeking support.

2. Seek Support

  • Talk to Trusted Individuals: Share your experiences with friends, family, or mentors who can provide emotional support and practical advice.
  • Join Support Groups: Connect with others who have had similar experiences. Support groups can offer a sense of community and shared understanding.

3. Practice Self-Care

  • Engage in Relaxation Techniques: Activities like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help reduce stress and improve emotional well-being.
  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity can help manage stress and improve mood.
  • Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Eat well, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that you enjoy and find fulfilling.

4. Educate Yourself and Others

  • Learn About Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with anti-discrimination laws and policies that protect your rights.
  • Raise Awareness: Educate others about the impacts of discrimination and the importance of inclusivity and equality.

5. Develop Resilience

  • Build Confidence: Focus on your strengths and accomplishments to boost self-esteem and resilience.
  • Set Personal Goals: Establish goals that are meaningful to you and work towards them, regardless of discriminatory barriers.

6. Seek Professional Help

  • Counseling and Therapy: Consider talking to a mental health professional who can provide strategies to cope with the emotional effects of discrimination.
  • Legal Assistance: If discrimination affects your work or access to services, seek legal advice to understand your options for addressing it.

7. Take Action

  • Report Discrimination: File complaints with relevant authorities or organizations. Many workplaces and institutions have processes for handling discrimination complaints.
  • Advocate for Change: Get involved in advocacy or community groups that work to combat discrimination and promote equality.

8. Cultivate a Positive Environment

  • Surround Yourself with Positivity: Spend time with people who support and uplift you.
  • Engage in Positive Activities: Participate in hobbies, volunteer work, or other activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Resources and Contacts

  1. Mental Health Resources
    • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI Helpline – 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
    • Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741
  2. Legal Resources
  3. Support Groups
    • Local community centers often have support groups for various types of discrimination.
    • Online forums and social media groups focused on support and advocacy.

Dealing with Discrimination

Dealing with discrimination requires a multifaceted approach to ensure fairness, equality, and justice for everyone. Here are practical steps to address and combat discrimination:

1. Recognize and Acknowledge Discrimination

  • Understand the Types: Familiarize yourself with different forms of discrimination such as racial, gender, age, and disability discrimination.
  • Identify Instances: Be aware of discriminatory behaviors and practices in your environment, whether subtle or overt.

2. Know Your Rights

  • Legal Protections: Research and understand the laws that protect against discrimination, such as the Civil Rights Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and Equal Employment Opportunity laws.
  • Workplace Policies: Familiarize yourself with your organization’s policies on discrimination and harassment.

3. Document Incidents

  • Record Details: Keep a detailed record of discriminatory incidents, including dates, times, locations, and descriptions of the events.
  • Gather Evidence: Collect any supporting evidence such as emails, messages, or witness statements.

4. Report the Discrimination

  • Internal Reporting: Report the incident to your employer, HR department, or school administration.
  • External Agencies: If internal reporting does not resolve the issue, consider filing a complaint with external agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or other relevant bodies.

5. Seek Support

  • Professional Help: Consult with legal professionals or advocacy groups specializing in discrimination cases.
  • Emotional Support: Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to share your experiences and seek emotional support.

6. Promote Awareness and Education

  • Training Programs: Advocate for and participate in diversity and sensitivity training programs within your organization or community.
  • Awareness Campaigns: Engage in or organize awareness campaigns to educate others about the impacts of discrimination and the importance of inclusivity.

7. Encourage Inclusive Practices

  • Inclusive Policies: Support the implementation of inclusive policies and practices in your workplace or community.
  • Diverse Representation: Encourage diverse representation in leadership positions and decision-making processes.

8. Legal Action

  • Seek Legal Recourse: If necessary, take legal action against the perpetrators of discrimination to seek justice and prevent future incidents.
  • Class Action: Consider joining or initiating a class action lawsuit if the discrimination affects a group of people.

9. Self-Care and Resilience

  • Maintain Well-being: Focus on your mental and physical well-being by engaging in activities that reduce stress and promote resilience.
  • Positive Environment: Surround yourself with supportive and positive influences to maintain a healthy environment.

10. Advocate for Change

  • Policy Change: Advocate for changes in laws and policies to strengthen protections against discrimination.
  • Community Involvement: Get involved in community organizations or initiatives that work towards equality and justice for all.

What Drives Discrimination?

Discrimination is driven by a complex interplay of social, psychological, and economic factors. Prejudice and stereotypes, often rooted in historical and cultural contexts, shape negative attitudes towards certain groups. Socialization processes, where individuals learn and internalize societal norms and biases, further perpetuate discriminatory behaviors. Economic competition can exacerbate discrimination, as groups vie for limited resources and opportunities. Additionally, institutional structures and policies can reinforce discrimination by creating and maintaining unequal power dynamics. Ultimately, these factors combine to create environments where discrimination can thrive, impacting individuals and communities on multiple levels.

How to Know if You are Being Discriminated

Discrimination is an action done by one person to another that is deeply rooted in pre-made judgments. These discriminatory acts can come in various forms or types, some of these are price discrimination, gender discrimination, age discrimination in hiring, racial discrimination, and institutional discrimination. Stimulus discrimination or discriminatory stimulus is a psychological term used in the reinforcement of the stimulus in different settings, and situations. This is not something that is under the definition of discrimination that is being talked about right now.

1.) Look at the Situation from an Outside Perspective

Begin by looking at the situation from an outside perspective, we do this because there are situations where we feel like we are being discriminated but in truth, there is no discrimination involved in that act. You can obtain an outside perspective by introspecting, asking the opinions of people who have no relation to the act, and by actively distancing yourself from the act.

2.) Identify the Parties Involved

Another way for you to find out if discrimination was involved is by identifying the people doing the act and figuring out their motives, and attitudes. This is very important as this can provide context if their actions and behaviors are indeed rooted in discrimination. Some people discriminate unconsciously due to their background, culture, or religion, this can help provide context as to why they have engages in such negative behaviors or acts.

3.) Discern How their Actions Made you Feel

This is one of the most important actions you can practice in your everyday life and not only in the context of discrimination. Think about how their negative actions and behaviors had impacted you as a person. All emotions are fleeting and they are often strongest when we experience the stimulus. Take a step back and think about how their actions made you feel in the end, which can help you clear up your mind and check if you were being discriminated against by the person.

Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Anti-discrimination legislation refers to laws and regulations designed to prevent discrimination against individuals based on various protected characteristics such as race, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and more. These laws aim to ensure equal treatment and opportunities in various areas of public life, including employment, education, housing, and access to services.

Key Aspects of Anti-Discrimination Legislation

  1. Protected Characteristics:
    • Race: Laws that prevent discrimination based on race or ethnicity.
    • Gender: Protections against gender-based discrimination, including issues of equal pay and sexual harassment.
    • Age: Prohibitions against age discrimination, particularly in employment.
    • Disability: Requirements for reasonable accommodations and equal access for individuals with disabilities.
    • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Protections for LGBTQ+ individuals.
    • Religion: Ensuring individuals are not discriminated against based on their religious beliefs.
  2. Employment:
    • Ensuring fair hiring practices, equal pay, and the prevention of workplace harassment and discrimination.
    • Requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
    • Protecting against wrongful termination based on protected characteristics.
  3. Education:
    • Equal access to educational opportunities and resources regardless of protected characteristics.
    • Preventing bullying and harassment in educational institutions.
    • Providing accommodations for students with disabilities.
  4. Housing:
    • Preventing discrimination in renting, buying, or securing financing for housing.
    • Ensuring accessible housing options for individuals with disabilities.
  5. Public Services and Accommodation:
    • Ensuring equal access to public services, facilities, and accommodations.
    • Prohibiting denial of service based on protected characteristics.

Examples of Anti-Discrimination Legislation

  • United States:
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964: Prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life.
    • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): Protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination.
  • United Kingdom:
    • Equality Act 2010: Consolidates and strengthens various anti-discrimination laws, covering protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.
  • European Union:
    • Equal Treatment Directives: Various directives aimed at ensuring equal treatment in employment, social security, goods and services, and other areas.

Enforcement and Remedies

  • Regulatory Agencies: Bodies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the U.S. or the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the UK enforce these laws.
  • Legal Remedies: Victims of discrimination can seek remedies through courts, including compensatory damages, injunctive relief, and policy changes.

Importance of Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Anti-discrimination laws play a crucial role in promoting social justice, equality, and inclusivity. They help create a more fair and equitable society by protecting individuals from unfair treatment and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in public life.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is unfair treatment of individuals based on characteristics like race, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation.

What are the types of discrimination?

Types include racial, gender, age, disability, religious, sexual orientation, and more.

How does discrimination affect individuals?

Discrimination leads to emotional distress, limited opportunities, and social inequality.

What are anti-discrimination laws?

Anti-discrimination laws protect individuals from unfair treatment based on protected characteristics.

What is workplace discrimination?

Workplace discrimination involves unfair treatment in hiring, promotion, or work conditions based on protected traits.

How can discrimination be reported?

Discrimination can be reported to regulatory bodies like the EEOC in the U.S. or through legal channels.

What is the impact of discrimination on society?

Discrimination fosters inequality, social division, and economic disparities.

How can organizations prevent discrimination?

Organizations can implement policies, provide training, and promote inclusive practices to prevent discrimination.

What is indirect discrimination?

Indirect discrimination occurs when policies apply to everyone but disadvantage specific groups.

How does discrimination affect mental health?

Discrimination can cause anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

AI Generator

Text prompt

Add Tone

10 Examples of Public speaking

20 Examples of Gas lighting