“Discrimination occurs when a person with power, or a person who believes they have power, performs unfair acts towards people whom they consider inferior.”

“A very common discriminatory situation would be when a racialized person wants to enter a leisure place, a bar, a disco, etc., and the security person does not let him enter and prevents him from passing either because of his physical appearance, his way of dressing, his beliefs, etc.”

“Another situation of serious discrimination is when a landlord does not allow renting his home to people who are racialized.


Theoretical Background

Discrimination is the unequal treatment of a person or group for reasons concerning religion, social class, ethnicity, physical condition, political ideas, gender, sexual preferences, age, and mental health, among others. Discrimination is the denial of equal rights, based on prejudices and stereotypes (Fiske, 2010). Discrimination differs from prejudices and stereotypes in that it is not a belief, but an application of beliefs (Fiske, 2010), to unequally distribute rights, access, and privileges.

Discrimination has varying degrees of expression: from violent hate-crimes to very subtle acts which might seem invisible, but which have significant consequences on the health and well-being of the person who is being discriminated against. Normalized forms of discrimination include situations such as receiving poorer service at stores or restaurants, being treated with less courtesy and respect, or being treated as less intelligent or less trustworthy. Such day-to-day discrimination frequently comes in the form of “micro-aggressions” such as misguided comments that suggest a person does not belong or which invalidates his or her experiences.
Fiske, S.T. (2010). Social beings: Core motives in Social Psychology (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
American Psychological Association. (2019). Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/discrimination