The root causes of discriminatory behavior are difficult to find. Family background, education or personal experience all play part. However, the reaction of one person to a strongly discriminating family background could be total acceptance, and the other person can reject it. Personal characteristics play a key part, and the debate, nature or nurture is never ending.
Widely held, fixed beliefs, stereotypes help people navigate in a confusing world. When these beliefs reach a level where the individual believes they are not equal, we talk about discrimination. Stereotypes can be positive, as well as negative. Which sometimes makes it more difficult to challenge it.
I would like to show a attitude that can lead to discrimination. Age discrimination stems from the negative stereotypes that old people do not want to learn and can be slow, or that they are less flexible. The positive stereotype is that old people are wise. When challenging the stereotype of old people, the retort can be that the person respects the old, as they are wise, so cannot possibly be discriminative. But despite the respect, they do not want to promote the person, as even though wise, flexibility is necessary for the role.