No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Prejudice and discrimination


An interesting programme on Channel 4 just recently examined the issue of racism in the UK today, using as a framework an experiment which has been conducted in the USA for some decades. The experiment divides individuals into brown-eyed and blue-eyed groups with those with blue eyes being subject to discriminatory and generally abusive behaviour from those with brown-eyes – the object being to demonstrate how easy it is for people to discriminate against others on the basis of arbitrary and unchangeable features. The programme and its subject matter were interesting and thought-provoking in themselves, but even more so because of the underlying tenet that it’s easy to deny the existence of discrimination, stereotypes and prejudice if you’re not on the receiving end of them. The programme seemed to suggest that in the UK today, racial prejudice is subtle but still generally prevalent, albeit largely unrecognised by those who aren’t on the receiving end. Certainly it caused me to think about how this applies in relation to age. In the workplace there are numerous examples of situations where, although employers and younger workers abide by the rules in terms of age discrimination legislation, older workers (and certainly older job applicants) know that they are at a disadvantage because of their age. And we are all familiar with the ‘light-hearted’ joking and banter in the workplace associated with ageing and older people.

One of the messages of the Channel 4 programme seemed to be that discrimination happens to a degree because those who are subject to it allow it to take place. Whilst not wanting to get into the deep and thorny issues surrounding this view, it does seem to add weight to the argument that, as we have always maintained, if you act old, talk old, and let other people treat you as old then you will be more subject to ageism than those who refuse to collude with ageist attitudes. 

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

Thank you!