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Difference Between Racism and Stereotyping

Racism vs Stereotyping

Racism and stereotyping are definitely different from each other. In general language or simple concept, the most important difference to understand between them is that racism is illegal whereas stereotyping is, though harmful for society, yet non-punishable by law.
The differences between racism and stereotyping can be explained by certain examples and explanations. Stereotyping can be about any characteristic of a person. The person can belong to any religion, nation or race. It is not based on nationality, origin, or religion, and it can be about a person’s weight, looks, behavior. Racism, however, is based on a person’s origin, nationality, or religion. It does not include characteristics or the general behavior of people.


Origin of the word: Until the 1930s, the word “racism” had not come into practice. Race hatred was used by Frederick Hertz in the 1920s and later was commonly used. In the 1930s, the word “racism” was used as the title of a book by Magnus Hirschfeld.
It deals with the fact that people believe the traits of different people or groups of people are determined by the genetic constitution .This specific genetic constitution gives rise to a particular race or nationality or ethnicity and the belief that one certain race is in some way superior to the other. This idea or concept or belief that one race is superior to the other is the root of racism. It is related in general to oppression, prejudice, dislike, or discrimination towards a group of people.

When racism is practiced, it causes some effects in the society which is called racial discrimination. The UN treats racial and ethnicity discrimination at the same level. There are many types of racial discrimination like institutional racism and economic racism.
Institutional racism refers to the benefits, rights, and preferential treatment of a certain race or the denial of the same for another race.
Economic racism refers to the financial benefits enjoyed by a certain race or financial benefits denied by a certain race.


Origin of the word: The word “stereotype” was first used in 1798. Firmin Didot invented the word used for printing. It referred to a duplicate impression of something original in the world of printing. Later the word was used by the American journalist Walter Lippmann. He used it as a metaphor and gave it the modern meaning in 1922.
Stereotyping refers to the belief harbored by people about a certain type of people or individuals or a belief about a social group. It is based on certain assumptions which have been made many years ago and are being followed to date. It can be explained in simple language as being an impression in the mind of a person or a group of people about another person or a group of people. Reasons for stereotyping is a lack of familiarity with other individuals.


1.Racism is based on religion, ethnicity, and nationality of a person or group. Stereotyping is based on an impression formed by a group of people for another group or individual irrespective of their origin.
2.Racism is illegal; stereotyping is not punishable by law though it has severe consequences.

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  1. Stereotyping is racism when white people do it.

  2. So if I tell my best friend who’s Vietnamese to go eat cats and dogs, I’ll go to jail?

  3. Actually, “racism” is not illegal. You can hold any idea you want of anybody…..nor is stating any of these opinions.

    Racial discrimination may be illegal, depending on the situation.

  4. y’all be dumb

  5. You kinda missed the obvious – stereotyping isn’t based on assumptions, it’s based on observations. Huge difference.

    • Rick you’re incorrect stereotyping had to do with both an assumption and observation. Usually the observation further continues a person to assume something About the other.

  6. This article has its good points. However, the authors definition of racism is incorrect. Racism is a prejudicial assumption of a “race” of people. Racism is not based on nationality or religion in any way by definition. While prejudice toward religion and nationality as societal groupings can certainly occur, this is not racism, as both of the aforementioned categories have nothing to do with race.

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