Sample Sociology Paper on Racial Discrimination: Causes and Effects

Racial discrimination is a situation where a person is hated, mistreated, and denied access to opportunities like others because he/she belongs to a different race. Racial discrimination has been present throughout the world and has been caused by a number of factors like stereotyping and as a result there have been negative consequences like connecting certain races with crimes without any justification. Causes and effects of racial discrimination vary from country to country as will be discussed below using a number of examples.

Racial discrimination has been caused by wrong upbringing whereby the child observes how his parents treat or say about people from different races leading to the child believing that saying negative things about other races is acceptable. The child develops hatred towards other races and as a result he will grow with resentment towards that particular race. Another cause of racial discrimination is stereotyping. This is where a certain race is associated with certain negative traits that are not true but based on assumptions. In America and white dominated nations, blacks have been associated with backwardness and this has led to blacks being treated as less equal. Racial discrimination has also been caused by unfamiliarity where people are afraid of what they do not understand. When a child has grown around one race and is introduced to stereotypes about another race, since he is not familiar with their lifestyle, he will develop hatred towards that race (Carlotte and Kristina, 1). Additionally, racial discrimination has been caused by individual experiences.

This happens when a person from a different race gets hurt or mistreated and due to this single incident, he/she develops hatred towards people from that particular race. Selfishness can as well bring about racism since people sometimes tend to care only about themselves and the people from their race. This leads to people ignoring the plight other races.

As a result of racial discrimination regardless of the cause, there are negative effects or consequences that arise. Some of these effects are psychological in nature. The person who is subjected to discrimination develops low self-esteem and feels alienated from the society and this can lead to depression or suicide. Another negative effect of racial discrimination is conflicts arising from political and economic inequalities. The race that is discriminated against will try to demand equal opportunities leading to disagreements that can sometimes bring about civil wars or civil rights movement like the one led by Martin Luther king Junior in America.

Racial discrimination has been present in many countries resulting to negative consequences as the following examples will show. In Australia, for example, the blacks have been discriminated in places. A particular case was when Sam from Ghana was insulted by being referred to as ‘monkey’ and being ridiculed that there is no black country that is developed. He has been subjected to more supervision than other white employees. This is a good example of racial discrimination where one is hated just because he/she is black. This kind of mistreatment definitely leads to low self-esteem hence affecting the employee’s productivity.





Racial profiling has also been witnessed in America in the state of Arizona where the 2010 Immigration laws enforcement has subjected the Hispanic people to police search in order to establish their citizenship (Glaser, 43). This is a clear case of racial prejudice since other Americans will not be subjected to police search. The effect of this racial discrimination is that it has resulted to suspicions between Hispanics and Americans especially the police. Some of the Hispanics have ended up in jail because they lacked the identification documents. Some Hispanics have started civil disobedience and this does not augur well for peaceful co-existence in America due the different classes of citizens created by the Immigration laws.

Another example of the worst form of racial discrimination in the history of the world is the killing of Jews in Germany and entire Europe by Nazis led by Hitler. The Nazis believed that they were superior to other races and as result viewed other races as inferior. As the Second World War came to an end by 1945, more than six million Jews have been killed because they were regarded as a race that was not worthy to live. The main cause of this racial discrimination was stereotypes and selfishness as Nazis saw themselves as intelligent and superior than Jews. They were guided by the conviction that the importance of a person did not emanate from his personality but rather from his race. This thinking led to Nazis killing Jews in order to maintain the purity of the Nazi race. The effect was mass murder never witnessed before in history.  This is obviously a very negative effect of racial discrimination.


Racial discrimination was also practised in America in 1950s whereby blacks were not allowed to sit in front seats in buses as these were reserved for whites. An example of this kind of racial profiling was when a lady by the name Rosa Parks refused to stand up in order to give up her seat to a white passage in bus ride to Montgomery, Alabama in 1955 (Winter, 21). This simple act by Rosa Parks gave energized black Americans and through the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King junior, fought for their rights leading to abolishment of segregated bus riding.

In conclusion, racial discrimination is caused by upbringing, stereotypes, selfishness as well as unfamiliarity. The effect of racial discrimination is low self-esteem and social alienation on the part of the discriminated as well as civil wars and murders like the killing of Jews by the Nazis. Racial discrimination goes against universal human rights of equality. It violates the human dignity resulting to conflicts around the world. Measures must be taken to do away with racial discrimination. Laws and policies ought to be put in place in order to punish those who discriminate others on the basis of race. Schools should encourage racial integration in order to do away with racial prejudices.



Works Cited

Aristea, Carlotte and Kristina. “Racism” What are the causes of racism? aacskd98racism. 1 Jan.1970. Web. 20 Oct. 2017 <>

Glaser, Jack. Causes and Consequences of Racial Profiling. New York: Oxford university press. 2014. Print.

Winter, Max. Civil Rights Movement. Minnesota: Abdo Publishing, 2015. Print.