What are the effects of prejudice and discrimination?

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Post 7 has eloquently expressed the pain of minorities in a way that only one who has experienced that level of discrimination can. I am a white male, born and raised in the deep South. As a result, I was raised with the idea that all non whites were inferior, and naturally possessed of undesirable qualities that were reflected in their behavior. I grew up during the Civil Rights era, and only in my early twenties was I forced to face the wrongness of everything I had been taught to believe. I am now almost 63, and the pain that I must have inflicted on others is a constant source of remorse. I have several close friends and colleagues who are Black, and for whom I have the utmost admiration and respect. Two of the brightest students I have taught in my career are black; both now students at prestigious universities, and one of whom was just chosen "woman of the year." My son recently married a beautiful Japanese girl who has presented us with two grandchildren who mean more to me than life itself. Sadly,I still hear expressions of racial prejudice, even from my younger students at school who should know better; but I know that they have learned it at home, as did I. I believe that the United States has come a long way in dealing with the issue of racial prejudice; but we're not there yet. In the meantime, my regrets are perhaps just punishment for my past.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One form of prejudice is stereotyping and stereotyping has major impacts on people's perceptions of themselves.

One of the most fascinating studies I have read is one that shows that reminding people of stereotypes about themselves affects the way they perform on various tests.  For example, if Asian women take a math test after being told that Asians are good at math they do better than they do after being told that women are bad at math (both are stereotypes).   This shows how strongly stereotypes and other forms of prejudice can affect our lives.


Here's a link about that




Of course, discrimination's impacts are more direct.  Discrimination actually takes opportunities away from people directly.  For example, discrimination occurs when a person is rejected for a job because of their race or ethnicity or sex.  This is much less common these days and, therefore, I would argue that the effects of prejudice and stereotyping are much more important.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are a number of different approaches that could be taken in answering this question, however, one way to think of this is to consider how the life chances of people who suffer prejudice and discrimination are impacted. Unfortunately, studies show that particular people or groups who suffer prejudice and discrimination have less life chances than those who don't. Even though the gravity of the situation has definitely changed in the past few years for the better, it is still the case that a white middle class marries male has more life chances than a Hispanic or Afro-Caribbean single mother coming from the working class. Prejudice and discrimination is shown to be show pervasive that the way we act and treat such groups is almost involuntary, and we end up showing prejudice and discrimination without being aware of it.

megan-bright eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can't speak from a majority group's view point, but as a member of a racial minority group the effects of prejudice and discrimination are devastating personally, socially, and on every other level. The scars run deep and it is a constant uphill battle to increase your self-esteem and self-worth in a society that doesn't consider you worthy because of your race.

Also, another effect is that many minorities in my experience, turn against each other and begin to discriminate against each other. Self-hatred is rampant around the world. The negative effects are passed from generation to generation.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his famous Letter From a Birmingham Jail, writes about how prejudice and discrimination, in the form of Jim Crow segregation laws distorted the personality and degraded the soul.  He argued that it gave the majority population a false sense of superiority and the minority a false sense of inferiority.  His central point there being that prejudice and discrimination is destructive to both the prejudicial and those who are discriminated against, which is a philosophical idea I tend to agree with.

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think one of the neglected effects is on the people who are holding the prejudice or doing the discriminating.  Because of their ignorance, these people are losing any opportunity to learn from or gain pleasure from the association with people that are different from them.  This only adds to the negative effects of their ignorance but can be leveraged sometimes more effectively than just telling people that their discrimination is wrong or unjust.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A propagation of hatred and ignorance is the result of prejudice and discrimination. Most frequently this is exhibited in those perpetrating the prejudice and discrimination, but frequently those upon whom prejudice and discrimination is foisted give in to the hatred and ignorance as well.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prejudice and discrimination result in lost opportunities for everyone involved.  Obviously, the person being discriminated against loses most.  The discriminators also lose.  The person they overlook because of race might be prefect for what they need.

zumba96 | Student

Prejudice and discrimination can hurt people in so many different ways. For no reason the socieety will use hurtful words for people when it is not even their fault and that is why terrible incidents such as suicide happen. If you don't like someone do not bring them down, but in fact help them up and help them stand for something new. 

crystaltu001 | Student

Prejudice and discrimination can cause people to have trusting problems and mental difficulties. It could make them think that they weren't meant to live in this world and could cause depression and also suicide.

maria-vivanco | Student

Discrimination can lead to self esteem issues and a hatred for the race that is discriminating them. The person becomes more conscious about the fact that they are different and that either make them confident or lead to self esteem issues.

arrellbelle | Student

I've been discriminated upon for varying reasons such as my ethnicity, the color of my skin, my own height, to the way I talk, and the fact that I use my left hand. In some cultures and religions, using your left hand signals that you are working with evil, like Satan. Personally, it made me feel bad about myself at first, but then I began to realize that i'm just different and unique so I started to become more confident in who I am.

luiji | Student

Prejudice and discrimmination is a form of bulllying. And we all know what effects bullying can have on people. Suicide, depression, lack of self-confidence... etc.

jbailow | Student
What are the effects of prejudice and discrimination?

What are the effects of prejudice and discrimination?

The effects of prejudice and discrimination are still visible in our society today.  As a teacher I see the negative effects that ignorance can have in the classroom environment.  It is imperative that teachers make it clear from the first day, that the classroom is a safe place for all students.  Threats, jokes about race,culture,religion etc. will not be tolerated.  If the teacher makes this clear from the first day of school, the students will have clear expectations for postivite interaction.