Definition of Discrimination: Causes and Types
Sexism, a Form of Gender Discrimination Against Women Human vector created by freepik

Definition of Discrimination: Causes and Types

Discrimination is an action, attitude, or behavior carried out by a person or group to corner another group. Usually discrimination is carried out by one group with a larger population to another group with a much smaller population or what we usually call the minority.

The behavior, attitudes, and actions of this corner itself are triggered by the big differences between the two groups. Whether differences in ethnicity, culture, skin color, social status to religion. Discrimination that is left unchecked can lead to a conflict.

Discrimination is most common in homogeneous countries, where the majority of the population is of the same race with exactly the same living habits as one another. Therefore, with many similarities, it is not uncommon for residents of homogeneous countries to feel superior to residents of other countries.

They feel that their rank is much higher than those who are different from them. As a result of this mindset, when foreigners with different skin colors visit, they will be treated in a different way than local people.

This discriminatory behavior itself can occur everywhere, especially in public facilities, such as supermarkets, restaurants, buses, means of transportation, and so on. In addition, the name of public facilities, is usually always filled with many people.

However, sadly, although many people saw this discriminatory behavior, most decided to remain silent without taking any action to stop it. Worse yet, not a few of these people actually agree and consider this act of discrimination as the right step.

Not infrequently this discriminatory behavior causes big fights that can involve many people. The discriminatory behavior received by a tourist will make him give up on visiting the country again, not infrequently even causing deep enough trauma. If things like that happen often, the tourism sector could experience a decline.


Causes of Discrimination

There will be no smoke if there is no fire. The same adage applies to discrimination. However, discriminatory actions or behaviors do not appear suddenly, but are caused by something. In this case, most discrimination is caused by prejudice or stereotypes that develop in society.

Prejudice and stereotypes that arise are usually caused by a lack of knowledge. But instead of finding out from books or the internet, they prefer to believe from what they know. For example, people in South Asian countries sometimes discriminate against people from Southeast Asia because they think that Southeast Asia is not more developed than countries in South Asia, especially in terms of economy.

This is exacerbated by the lack of desire to find out, so they continue to think that the countries in Southeast Asia are poor and undeveloped. In fact, the world does not only develop around them.

The world is also changing, and every country is also developing, including countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia for example. When compared to Indonesia in the 90s, our country is clearly running very fast, both in the fields of economy, infrastructure, and technology.

Prejudice  and  stereotypes is what ultimately makes a person tend to treat others in a different way. They will treat people who come from developed countries and of equal or higher social status in a better way.

Meanwhile, people who are considered to be from developing countries or middle to lower economic status will be treated in a bad way. The lower the social status, skin color or economic status, the worse the treatment will be.


Types of Discrimination

Although at first glance acts of discrimination look the same, in fact discrimination is also divided into several types. These types of discrimination are divided based on race, gender, age, and political views.

Even though Indonesians respect differences, some types of discrimination are still common in this country. So, what types of discrimination are there? Here are the most common types of discrimination in the world!

1. Racism

Racism, this one term must be quite familiar to all of us. When compared to other types of discrimination, racism is the most common type of discrimination to date. From the name, you can conclude that racism is the belief that one race is far superior to another.

Today, racism is usually based on skin color. As you know, every race has a different skin color from each other. There are races whose people have black, brown, olive, to white skin.

In certain countries, people tend to think that white skin is a symbol of beauty. People with white skin are always considered much more beautiful and attractive than those with dark skin. In fact, this racist attitude makes many women try to change their skin color to be brighter because they feel ugly and are not confident with their natural skin color.

Although the term racism is popular today, discrimination based on race has in fact been around for decades. If you’ve read any history books about World War II, you probably know that Adolf Hitler once tried to commit genocide on the Jews living in Europe. This action was actually based on many factors, one of which was Hitler’s belief that the Aryan race was far superior to the Jews.

As a result, millions of Jews in Europe were deprived of their rights, arrested, imprisoned, and tortured in concentration camps spread across several countries already occupied by Germany and the Nazis. At the end of World War II, as many as 5 million Jews died from disease, starvation, torture, and murder by the Nazis in their concentration camps.

Racism has also occurred in the United States around the 16th century, at which time white people considered them far more honorable than black people. As a result, black people not only lost their rights as human beings, but also became slaves and traded like animals. This slavery just ended when Abraham Lincoln led the land of Uncle Sam.

2. Sexism

If racism is based on the belief that one race is superior to another, then sexism is the belief that men are smarter and stronger than women. Sexism in the end makes women always be number two in many ways, especially work.

Although sexism is not as bad as racism, this type of discrimination is very detrimental to women. In the past, women were not allowed to apply for certain jobs because they were deemed unable to do so. Sexism has also occurred in Indonesia in the colonial era.

At that time, women’s only job was to stay at home, in the kitchen, taking care of their husbands and children. Because their job is to stay at home, women are prohibited from receiving higher education. In the era before Kartini, many indigenous women could not read because they never had the opportunity to get an education.

Worse, even though today the world is very modern, sexism is still found in many countries. In South Korea, for example, women’s salaries are not the same as men’s. Many companies also prefer to hire male employees over women because they are considered more profitable.

Such an opinion is based on the fact that women will someday marry, give birth, and have children. They can no longer work because they have to take care of their children and their families.

3. ageism

Ageism is an act of discrimination based on a person’s age. Interestingly, compared to other types of discrimination, ageism is rarely realized by many people. In fact, ageism occurs very often in our daily lives.

One example of this type of ageism discrimination is the assumption that older people are wiser than younger people. While the old are considered wise, the young are often seen as reckless, selfish, ignorant, and incompetent.

This is actually very reasonable because in their teens, they have less stable emotions. When problems arise, young people will choose the easiest solution, without thinking about the consequences of that choice. But not all young people are like that right?

However, a person’s attitude, actions, and mindset do not always match his age. Likewise, many people who are adults in age still have a childish mindset, and even often do trouble and trouble those around them.

It is not only young people who are victims of this type of discrimination. Parents are also sometimes the aggrieved parties from this type of ageism discrimination. For example, when applying for a job, many companies prefer to hire young people because they are considered to have a stronger physique than older people.

Therefore, many parents find it difficult to find jobs that match their skills. Even if they have a lot of experience, they are still limited by the age requirements set by the company.

4. Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities

Life as a person with a disability is not easy, physical limitations are one of the reasons. However, the lives of people with disabilities are made more difficult than it should be because people often look at them with one eye.

In the surrounding environment, people with disabilities are often seen as weak and always need a helping hand from others. It’s true that sometimes they need help, but that doesn’t mean they are weak and can’t do anything on their own.

Today, many people with disabilities have higher education. However, they still find it difficult to get a job because the company is reluctant to give them a chance to prove themselves. As a result, they have to fend for themselves to live.

In fact, regardless of their physical limitations, people with disabilities can also work well just like other people as long as they get the opportunity to try, the opportunity to prove themselves, and get the opportunity to be equal to others.

5. Discrimination of Different Political Views

Now, this discrimination is quite unique, because it only occurs at certain times. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination also occurs in Indonesia. Usually political discrimination occurs before the presidential election which occurs every 5 years.

As the general election draws near, the people tend to split into two camps. The camps of candidate A and candidate B. This discrimination can be said to be very annoying, because the two camps not only support each other, but also vilify each other.


How to Avoid Discrimination

Basically, there are several ways to avoid discrimination, including:

  1. Upholding Human Rights
  2. Enhancing the Spirit of Association and Unity
  3. Get used to not looking at other people from the looks of it
  4. Mutual Respect and Appreciation


Regardless of how many and types, discrimination is not something that can be justified, whatever the reason. Discrimination is initially just prejudice, but if left unchecked, this prejudice will turn into attacks, even prolonged hostility.

People who experience discrimination will not only feel offended and hurt, if left unchecked they will also feel prolonged trauma. In fact, victims of discrimination can be traumatized.

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