Difference Between Discrimination & Harassment

Key Difference – Discrimination vs Harassment

Discrimination and harassment are actions or behaviors targeted at individuals or groups of people that are illegal and unjustified. We have witnessed racial discrimination used to treat people differently due to the color of their skin. We are also aware of discrimination based on ethnicity, such as anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany. There is another term, harassment, which refers to the unfair treatment of people, especially with regards to sex. Many similarities between discrimination and harassment can cause confusion. However, there are also differences that will be highlighted in this article.

What is Discrimination?

Discrimination occurs when someone or a group of people is treated less favorably than another person or group solely because of the color of their skin, race, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, marital status, faith, or sexual preference. Feelings of superiority and hatred are said to be behind this behavior or attitude known as discrimination. Discrimination is seen or felt in many countries and in many parts of the world. The most common example of discrimination is racial discrimination, which was widespread in the US until the beginning of the 20th century. Black people and people with mixed ethnicities were treated disrespectfully and arrogantly by whites. This racial discrimination was also seen in the behavior of whites against Indians during British rule and in South Africa until recently, where it was known as apartheid. In India, the division of people into castes and untouchables has led to a kind of discrimination that has not been seen anywhere in the world since the dawn of civilization. To stop this practice, the government arranged for quotas for the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people, although this has been dubbed reverse discrimination by the intelligentsia.
Discrimination is not always based on the color of the skin or caste of a person. It can be done to distinguish among people, to treat them differently. Whenever a person is not treated on par with others because of a characteristic feature, age, sex, caste, color of skin, gender, etc., they are said to be a victim of discrimination.

What is Harassment?

Harassment is to make someone feel intimidated, insulted, or humiliated due to their different ethnicity, color of skin, sex, sexual preference or orientation, age, disability, etc. There can be many different kinds of behaviors that fall under the definition of harassment, but all of these behaviors are of an offensive nature. Sexual harassment has been the most common and well-known form of harassment found in most parts of the world, especially in workplaces. These pertain to sexual advances where the victim is threatened with severe consequences if they refuse. Harassment is not always violent or physical, as it can also be done at a psychological level where only the victim knows about the behavior. Harassment can be caused through unpleasant remarks and jokes, though it can escalate to physical violence as well.

Key Takeaways

  • Discrimination is differential treatment of a person or group of people based on factors such as color of skin, caste, sex, age, and disability.
  • Harassment is a type of discriminatory behavior where a person is singled out and subjected to unwanted behavior because of their race, color of skin, sex, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Harassment can be considered a form of discrimination, but not all discrimination is harassment.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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