Skip to Main Content

Learn & Unlearn: Anti-racism Resource Guide

Lesson 9: Stereotype, Prejudice, Discrimination

Original post on @saic.maffairs posted 9/25/2020.

Foundation: Stereotype, Prejudice, Discrimination

What is the relation between Stereotype, Prejudice, and Discrimination?

If we want to disrupt and interrogate racialized oppression, we need to understand its roots. Racism can be defined as prejudice + power (see Post 8: Power). Let’s discuss prejudice.

Stereotypes are non-scientific over-generalizations about a social group. Stereotypes can be positive or negative, conscious and unconscious inferences about a social group. 

Prejudice is unjustifiable and negative attitudes toward an individual or group based on reinforced misinformation about a social group. Prejudice is cultivated by stereotypes.1
Prejudice also reflects ideological theories about race (see Post 5: Race as a Social Construct)

Discrimination is negative, destructive, exclusionary behavior and action towards an individual or group of people based on social identity groups (race, gender, sex, ethnicity, class, etc.) Discrimination is harmful, and denies individuals or groups access to power.

Discrimination is pervasive on the individual, institutional, and structural levels, and operates in behaviors, practices, cultures, policies, and laws.


“Change means growth, and growth can be painful. But we sharpen self-definition by exposing the self in work and struggle together with those whom we define as different from ourselves, although sharing the same goals,” - Audre Lorde3

To Research

To Listen

To Watch

To Reflect

What stereotypes or generalizations were taught to you growing up? 
What messages did you receive about you? What messages did you receive about people who are different from you, think about your gender, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, other identities?
Who or how were these messages delivered? 
What was the makeup of your neighborhood? Your school?

To Act

It can be uncomfortable, but not talking about stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination allows it to continue unchallenged. Educate yourself and others about your own stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminatory actions. 
Invest and donate to icons like Rachel Cargle, who use Patreon to educate communities. 
Call out comments and jokes that reinforce stereotypes. Challenge the notion that jokes or comments based on stereotypes are socially acceptable


Works Cited

  1. "Prejudice," Racial Equity Tools Glossary, n.d.
  2. Social Psychology Network, "The Psychology of Prejudice," Understanding Prejudice, n.d.
  3. Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Trumansburg, NY: Crossing Press, 1984).

Other Sources

Anti-Asian Discrimination

Heightened fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a documented increase in anti-Asian xenophobia across the United States. This rise in anti-Asian sentiment mandates that we re-commit to our own anti-racist education, and raise awareness of the violence against the Asian diaspora. Please see this additional list of resources for all community members alike seeking to continue their anti-racist education with that lens. Last updated 3/5/2021. 

To Read

To Research

  • Anti-Asian Xenophobia, Lei Zhang and Erika Lee, University of Minnesota, 2021 [Article and Resource Guide]
  • Anti-Asian racism and COVID-19, Jennifer Ho, Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine, 2020 [Article and Resource Guide]
  • Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University [Research Center]

Chicago Resources

To Watch

Go Deeper

See the Cultural Competence, Lesson 5: #STOPAAPIHATE for more information and resources.