Teaching Citizenship in the 5-14 Curriculum using
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Citizenship Issues
in Harry Potter



Human Rights

Legal Issues


Links and References

Ethnicity and Diversity


What is racism? Is it different in Harry Potter's world?

In Harry Potter's world, wizards live seperate from muggles (non-magical people). Harry and Hermione are both caught between the wizard and muggle worlds.

In a news-round interview, J K Rowling talked about the importance of blood purity in the Harry Potter books. She said:

"From the beginning of Philosopher's Stone, prejudice is a very strong theme. It is plausible that Harry enters the world wide-eyed: everything will be wonderful and it's the sort of place where injustices don't happen. Then he finds out that it does happen and it's a shock to him. He finds out that he is a half-blood: to a wizard like Lucius Malfoy, he will never be a true wizard, because his mother was of muggle parentage. It's a very important theme."

Voldemort's group of Death Eaters believed that any half-blood was inferior to them. The Death Eaters' ideology is very similar to Nazism. They committed a number of atrocities in the name of blood purity.



Discuss if Hogwarts is open to pupils of all races? Have any of the characters been discriminated against because of their race?

Investigate racial segregation in America, when black and white people lived seperately.

In class for a day all the brown eyed pupils are treated differently from the pupils with blue or green eyes. How do you feel about being treated differently from your friends?

Look at how werewolves, giants, elves (particularly house elves) and animagi are treated in the school.

Plan a campaign, similar to Hermione's Society for Promotion of Elvish Welfare (S.P.E.W.) for helping werewolves, giants or animagi.


Page created by K. Farrell, J.A. Kemp, Y. Mitchell, and J. Norman, June 2005