Language and Discrimination

person icon Anna Thompson

Language and Discrimination

How to Develop Non-discriminatory Forms of Language

updated on icon Updated on Sep, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Anna Thompson

architecture icon Diversity,Lifestyle


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Course Description

Language has long been recognized as playing an important role in relation to discrimination. This is because it can, on the one hand, reinforce stereotypes and discriminatory assumptions or, on the other, play a part in challenging them and seeking to eliminate them. Unfortunately, however, the notion of ‘political correctness’ has oversimplified complex issues and created a great deal of confusion. This course dispels all that confusion by clarifying the relationship between language and discrimination.

An oversimplified approach that simply seeks to ban the use of certain words has contributed to many people dismissing important issues as ‘political correctness gone mad’. This is a significant problem, as it means that some perfectly unproblematic forms of language are disapproved of, while some forms of discriminatory language go unchallenged. In addition, many people avoid the subject because they fear being criticized for saying something deemed racist, sexist or otherwise unacceptable.

Dr Neil Thompson has written and taught extensively about equality, diversity and inclusion and the need to avoid and address discrimination. His experience over many years has taught him that confusions and oversimplifications about the role of language in discrimination are not only very common, but also do a lot of harm.

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone wishing to promote equality and diversity by challenging discrimination through the use of appropriate forms of language.


What will you learn in this course:

  • Develop a fuller understanding of the relationship between language and discrimination

  • Become wary of the oversimplifications associated with ‘political correctness’

  • Appreciate the importance of developing ‘linguistic sensitivity’

  • Be more confident in using language that is empowering rather than discriminatory


What are the prerequisites for this course?

  • A good basic understanding of equality and diversity issues will help you get more out of this course.

Language and Discrimination


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

Language and Discrimination
6 Lectures
  • play icon Introduction 04:03 04:03
  • play icon Module Companion E-workbook
  • play icon The pendulum swing 08:32 08:32
  • play icon Language and power 06:35 06:35
  • play icon Linguistic sensitivity 13:17 13:17
  • play icon Conclusion 02:24 02:24

Instructor Details

Anna Thompson

Anna Thompson

Dr Neil Thompson is a highly experienced tutor and trainer. He is highly respected for his ability to explain complex ideas clearly and effectively. His gentle voice and unhurried approach are widely appreciated by online learners as will as attendees at his conferences and workshops. 

He is an independent writer, educator and adviser based in Wales. He is also a visiting professor at the Open University in the UK.. He is a well-published author with over 200 publications to his name, including over 40 books, several of which are bestsellers. He has been a speaker at conferences in the UK, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Greece, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Hong Kong, India, the United States, Canada and Australia. 

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