Learn English – Preference vs Favoritism


Could anyone please explain the subtle difference between preference and favoritism?

Both of them basically give the same meaning, but there is something more than that in it.
Can someone point that out?

Best Answer

Favoritism means bestows favours on, one group or person over another.

The two words are utterly different and completely unrelated.

Your "preference" simply means which one you "like more". Thus, "I prefer dogs to cats" means exactly "I like dogs more than I like cats."

The recently-coined word favoritism is utterly unrelated to "preference".

Favoritism means (particularly in a work environment) that you give favours to one person over another. Or, one (say) racial group of people over another racial group of people. Or, perhaps in a family setting, one sibling over another.

Thus for example "The Chairman exhibits favoritism (gives favours to) to people from nation XX over people from nation YY. So, people from XX get all the best promotions and all the best offices, even if they are not performing as well as people from YY."