Theme M & A
It was awful, it was such an embarrassing
situation, I didn't know what to do...
The manifestation of prejudice and discrimination
in our society
How to deal with difficult situations
• To be more aware of discrimination
in our daily lives
• To promote empathy with those
who are discriminated against
• To help people learn how to be
Any. If the group is very large divide it
for discussion into subgroups of 6 - 8.
• Flip chart and marker
1. Ask each person to think of one occasion
when they felt discriminated against or one situation when
they saw someone else being discriminated against.
2. Go round and ask each person to describe
their situation very briefly to the group.
3. List all the situations on the flip chart
and then ask the group to choose one to discuss.
4. Ask the person whose situation was chosen
to describe in greater detail what happened.
5. Then talk about:
• how the situation arose and what
• how the person who was discriminated
• how the person who discriminated
• if the person was justified in
feeling discriminated against
• how they responded and what happened
after the incident
6. At the end ask the group to say what they could have
done in the same situation and work out other possible ways
Debriefing and evaluation
Talk about discrimination in general:
• What are the most common reasons
people discriminate against you? Because of your age, skin
colour or the clothes you wear?
• Why do people discriminate against
others who are different?
• Where do they learn this behaviour?
• How important is it to challenge
Tips for the facilitator
People should think of real situations which
they feel strongly about but you should emphasise that no
one should feel under pressure to say anything that would
make them feel uncomfortable..
Usually people talk about negative discrimination,
but be aware that issues about positive discrimination may
1. Use roleplay to explore the situation.
Ask a pair or small group to role play the situation while
the rest observe. Afterwards ask the observers to suggest
possible alternative responses to the situation. Roleplay
the suggestions and discuss the issue further.
2. Ask everybody to write down a brief outline
of a situation on a slip of paper. Put the papers in a hat.
Pass the hat round inviting each person to take out one
piece of paper. Go round the circle and ask each person
to read out what is written on their note. Ask everyone
to try to guess the feelings of those involved.
Suggestions for follow up
Organise some assertiveness training to
help you develop skills to deal difficult situations. If
you want to start the training yourselves, then you may
like to start by talking about how you would react in the
critical incidents described in 'Adaptation
– integration – tolerance ... Examples from
everyday life', C/15 in Alien 93.
People discriminate against others who are
different when it is in their interests to do so, but at
the same time they like to enjoy many of the things foreigners
have brought with them, and which we take for granted such
as pizzas, kebabs or jazz and reggae music. If you are interested
in discovering the 'foreign footprints' that are all around
us, have a go at 'Trailing diversity'.
Many women are discriminated against in
the workplace. You may like to do a role-play that helps
people develop their knowledge about women's rights
to reproductive choice and their right to equal employment
opportunities and remuneration. If so, then look at 'Work
and babies' in Compass.
Alternatively try the simulation game 'Limit
20' for some fun and excitement.