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Why does discrimination happen?

You believe you're being discriminated again in the workplace. What you start wondering, on top of considering your legal rights, is why discrimination happens in the first place. What are the underlying causes?

The reasoning can be different on a case-by-case basis, but some experts note that factors that can play a role include:

-- Sociocultural practices.

-- History

-- Economic forces.

-- Family beliefs.

-- Community beliefs.

-- Sociological trends.

Experts also note that these beliefs and feelings are often deep-seated and may have been held for a long time. They may be reinforced by the people around the individuals who are discriminating and the culture in which they live.

For example, perhaps you work in the tech sector. It tends to be full of new companies run by people who are relatively young. They are always around other young people and have been all their lives.

In those circles, they may believe that older workers simply don't understand the technology that they're dealing with. Since everyone they interact with is the same age and holds these beliefs, the beliefs get stronger all of the time.

If you're an older worker, they could instantly begin to stereotype you when you come in for an interview. In that case, what is on your resume may not matter as much as what they already thought about you before they even met you.

As you can imagine, this point of view can be very problematic and can lead to illegal hiring practices. It's critical that those who are discriminated against on any basis know what legal options they have.

Source: APA, "Discussing discrimination," accessed May 26, 2017

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