Discrimination

In human social behavior, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, colour, criminal record, height, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, generation, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.[1] Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated".[2] It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual's actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.[3]

Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down upon. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those who are believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but they have sometimes been called reverse discrimination.

Etymology

The term discriminate appeared in the early 17th century in the English language. It is from the Latin discriminat- 'distinguished between', from the verb discriminare, from discrimen 'distinction', from the verb discernere.[4] Since the American Civil War the term "discrimination" generally evolved in American English usage as an understanding of prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their race, later generalized as membership in a certain socially undesirable group or social category.[5] The word "discrimination" derives from Latin, where the verb discrimire means "to separate, to distinguish, to make a distinction".

Definitions

Moral philosophers have defined discrimination as disadvantageous treatment or consideration. This is a comparative definition. An individual need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. They just need to be treated worse than others for some arbitrary reason. If someone decides to donate to help orphan children, but decides to donate less, say, to black children out of a racist attitude, then they would be acting in a discriminatory way despite the fact that the people they discriminate against actually benefit by receiving a donation.[6][7] In addition to this discrimination develops into a source of oppression. It is similar to the action of recognizing someone as 'different' so much that they are treated inhumanly and degraded.[8]

Based on realistic-conflict theory[9] and social-identity theory,[10] Rubin and Hewstone[11] have highlighted a distinction among three types of discrimination:

  1. Realistic competition is driven by self-interest and is aimed at obtaining material resources (e.g., food, territory, customers) for the in-group (e.g., favouring an in-group in order to obtain more resources for its members, including the self).
  2. Social competition is driven by the need for self-esteem and is aimed at achieving a positive social status for the in-group relative to comparable out-groups (e.g., favouring an in-group in order to make it better than an out-group).
  3. Consensual discrimination is driven by the need for accuracy and reflects stable and legitimate intergroup status hierarchies (e.g., favouring a high-status in-group because it is high status).

The United Nations stance on discrimination includes the statement: "Discriminatory behaviors take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection."[12] International bodies United Nations Human Rights Council work towards helping ending discrimination around the world.

Types

Age

Ageism or age discrimination is discrimination and stereotyping based on the grounds of someone's age.[13] It is a set of beliefs, norms, and values which used to justify discrimination or subordination based on a person's age.[14] Ageism is most often directed towards old people, or adolescents and children.[15][16]

Age discrimination in hiring has been shown to exist in the United States. Joanna Lahey, professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, found that firms are more than 40% more likely to interview a young adult job applicant than an older job applicant.[17] In Europe, Stijn Baert, Jennifer Norga, Yannick Thuy and Marieke Van Hecke, researchers at Ghent University, measured comparable ratios in Belgium. They found that age discrimination is heterogeneous by the activity older candidates undertook during their additional post-educational years. In Belgium, they are only discriminated if they have more years of inactivity or irrelevant employment.[18]

In a survey for the University of Kent, England, 29% of respondents stated that they had suffered from age discrimination. This is a higher proportion than for gender or racial discrimination. Dominic Abrams, social psychology professor at the university, concluded that ageism is the most pervasive form of prejudice experienced in the UK population.[19]

Caste

According to UNICEF and Human Rights Watch, caste discrimination affects an estimated 250 million people worldwide.[20][21][22] Discrimination based on caste, as perceived by UNICEF, is mainly prevalent in parts of Asia, (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Japan), Africa and others.[20] As of 2011, there were 200 million Dalits or Scheduled Castes (formerly known as "untouchables") in India.[23]

Disability

Discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not is called ableism or disablism. Disability discrimination, which treats non-disabled individuals as the standard of 'normal living', results in public and private places and services, education, and social work that are built to serve 'standard' people, thereby excluding those with various disabilities. Studies have shown, employment is needed to not only provide a living but to sustain mental health and well-being. Work fulfils a number of basic needs for an individual such as collective purpose, social contact, status, and activity.[24] A person with a disability is often found to be socially isolated and work is one way to reduce isolation.

In the United States, the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates the provision of equality of access to both buildings and services and is paralleled by similar acts in other countries, such as the Equality Act 2010 in the UK.

Language

Corsican nationalism
Nationalists in Corsica sometimes spray-paint or shoot traffic signs in French.

Diversity of language is protected and respected by most nations who value cultural diversity. However, people are sometimes subjected to different treatment because their preferred language is associated with a particular group, class or category. Notable examples are the Anti-French sentiment in the United States as well as the Anti-Quebec sentiment in Canada targeting people who speak the French language. Commonly, the preferred language is just another attribute of separate ethnic groups. Discrimination exists if there is prejudicial treatment against a person or a group of people who either do or do not speak a particular language or languages.

Another noteworthy example of linguistic discrimination is the backdrop to the Bengali Language Movement in erstwhile Pakistan, a political campaign that played a key role in the creation of Bangladesh. In 1948, Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as the national language of Pakistan and branded those supporting the use of Bengali, the most widely spoken language in the state, as enemies of the state.[25]

Language discrimination is suggested to be labeled linguicism or logocism. Anti-discriminatory and inclusive efforts to accommodate persons who speak different languages or cannot have fluency in the country's predominant or "official" language, is bilingualism such as official documents in two languages, and multiculturalism in more than two languages.

Name

Discrimination based on a person's name may also occur, with research suggesting the presence of discrimination based on name meaning, pronunciation, uniqueness, gender affiliation, and racial affiliation.[26][27][28][29][30] Research has further shown that real world recruiters spend an average of just six seconds reviewing each résumé before making their initial "fit/no fit" screen-out decision and that a person's name is one of the six things they focus on most.[31] France has made it illegal to view a person's name on a résumé when screening for the initial list of most qualified candidates. Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands have also experimented with name-blind résumé processes.[32] Some apparent discrimination may be explained by other factors such as name frequency.[33] The effects of name discrimination based on name fluency is subtle, small and subject significantly to changing norms.[34]

Nationality

Discrimination on the basis of nationality is usually included in employment laws[35] (see above section for employment discrimination specifically). It is sometimes referred to as bound together with racial discrimination[36] although it can be separate. It may vary from laws that stop refusals of hiring based on nationality, asking questions regarding origin, to prohibitions of firing, forced retirement, compensation and pay, etc., based on nationality.

Discrimination on the basis of nationality may show as a "level of acceptance" in a sport or work team regarding new team members and employees who differ from the nationality of the majority of team members.[37]

In the UAE and other GCC states, for instance, nationality is not frequently given to residents and expatriates. In the workplace, preferential treatment is given to full citizens, even though many of them lack experience or motivation to do the job. State benefits are also generally available for citizens only.[38]

Race or ethnicity

Anti Arab sign in Pattaya Beach Thailand
Anti-Arab sign in Pattaya Beach, Thailand
No entrance for poles1.jpeg
German warning in German-occupied Poland 1939 – "No entrance for Poles!"
37431682 eb5832e644
Antisemitic graffiti in Lithuania. The signs read "Jews out" and "Hate"
Segregation 1938b
An African-American child at a segregated drinking fountain on a courthouse lawn, North Carolina, US 1938.

Racial and ethnic discrimination differentiates individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial and ethnic differences and leads to various forms of the ethnic penalty.[39][40] It has been official government policy in several countries, such as South Africa during the apartheid era. Discriminatory policies towards ethnic minorities include the race-based discrimination of ethnic Indians and Chinese in Malaysia[41] After the Vietnam war, many Vietnamese refugees moved to the United States, where they face discrimination.[42] Many studies report lower private sector earnings for racial minorities, although it is often difficult to determine the extent to which this is the result of racial discrimination.[43]

As of 2013, aboriginal people (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) comprise 4 percent of Canada's population, but they account for 23.2 percent of the federal prison population.[44] According to the Australian government's June 2006 publication of prison statistics, Aborigines make up 24% of the overall prison population in Australia.[45]

In 2004, Māori made up just 15% of the total population of New Zealand but 49.5% of prisoners. Māori were entering prison at eight times the rate of non-Māori.[46] A quarter of the people in England's prisons are from an ethnic minority. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that in England and Wales as of 2010, a black person was five times more likely to be imprisoned than a white person. The discrepancy was attributed to "decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system".[47]

In the United States, racial profiling of minorities by law-enforcement officials has been called racial discrimination.[48]
Within the criminal justice system in the United States, minorities are convicted and imprisoned disproportionately when compared to the majority.[49][50] As early as 1866, the Civil Rights Act and Civil Rights Act of 1871 provided a remedy for intentional racism in employment by private employers and state and local public employers. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 expanded the damages available in Title VII cases and granted Title VII plaintiffs the right to a jury trial.

Racial discrimination in hiring has been shown to exist in the United States and in Europe.[51][52] Using a field experiment, Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan showed that applications from job candidates with white-sounding names received 50 percent more callbacks for interviews than those with African-American-sounding names in the United States at the start of this millennium.[53] A 2009 study by Devah Pager, Bruce Western, and Bart Bonikowski found that black applicants to low-wage jobs were half as likely as identically qualified white applicants to receive callbacks or job offers.[54] More recently, Stijn Baert, Bart Cockx, Niels Gheyle and Cora Vandamme replicated and extended their field experiment in Belgium, Europe. They found that racial discrimination in the labour market is heterogeneous by the labour market tightness in the occupation: compared to natives, candidates with a foreign-sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview in Belgium if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill, but they have to send twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low.[55]

Region

Regional or geographic discrimination is discrimination based on the region in which a person lives or was born. It differs from national discrimination in that it may not be based on national borders or the country the victim lives in, but is instead based on prejudices against a specific region of one or more countries. Examples include discrimination against Chinese born in countryside far from city within China, and discrimination against Americans from the southern or northern regions of the United States. It is often accompanied by discrimination based on accent, dialect, or cultural differences.[56]

Religious beliefs

Lotshampa refugees in Beldangi Camp
In the 1990s, Bhutan expelled or forced to leave its Hindu population in the name of preserving its Buddhist culture and identity.

Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe or because of their feelings towards a given religion. For instance, the indigenous Christian population of the Balkans, known as the "rayah" or the "protected flock", was discriminated against under the Ottoman Kanun–i–Rayah. The word is sometimes translated as 'cattle' rather than 'flock' or 'subjects' in order to emphasize the Christian population's inferior status to that of the Muslim rayah.[57]

Restrictions upon Jewish occupations were imposed by Christian authorities. Local rulers and church officials closed many professions to religious Jews, pushing them into marginal roles considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending, occupations only tolerated as a "necessary evil".[58] The number of Jews permitted to reside in different places was limited; they were concentrated in ghettos and were not allowed to own land.

In a 1979 consultation on the issue, the United States commission on civil rights defined religious discrimination in relation to the civil rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Whereas religious civil liberties, such as the right to hold or not to hold a religious belief, are essential for Freedom of Religion (in the United States secured by the First Amendment), religious discrimination occurs when someone is denied "the equal protection of the laws, equality of status under the law, equal treatment in the administration of justice, and equality of opportunity and access to employment, education, housing, public services and facilities, and public accommodation because of their exercise of their right to religious freedom".[59]

Sex, sex characteristics, gender, and gender identity

Though gender discrimination and sexism refer to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal consequences. Sex discrimination, on the other hand, may have legal consequences. Though what constitutes sex discrimination varies between countries, the essence is that it is an adverse action taken by one person against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. Discrimination of that nature is considered a form of prejudice and in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries.

Sexual discrimination can arise in different contexts. For instance, an employee may be discriminated against by being asked discriminatory questions during a job interview, or by an employer not hiring or promoting, unequally paying, or wrongfully terminating, an employee based on their gender.

OECD gender wage gap
The gender gap in median earnings of full-time employees according to the OECD 2015.[60]

Sexual discrimination can also arise when the dominant group holds a bias against the minority group. One such example is Wikipedia. In the Wikipedian community, around 13 percent of registered users are women.[61] This creates gender imbalances, and leaves room for systemic bias. Women are not only more harshly scrutinized, but the representation of women authors are also overlooked. Relative to men, across all source lists, women have a 2.6 greater odds of omission in Wikipedia.[62] In an educational setting, there could be claims that a student was excluded from an educational institution, program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship because of their gender. In the housing setting, there could be claims that a person was refused negotiations on seeking a house, contracting/leasing a house or getting a loan based on their gender. Another setting where there have been claims of gender discrimination is banking; for example if one is refused credit or is offered unequal loan terms based on one's gender.[63] As with other forms of unlawful discrimination, there are two types of sex discrimination – direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. Direct sex discrimination is fairly easy to spot – 'Barmaid wanted', but indirect sex discrimination, where an unnecessary requirement puts one sex at a disproportionate disadvantage compared to the opposite sex, is sometimes less easy to spot, although some are obvious – 'Bar person wanted – must look good in a mini skirt'.[64] Another setting where there is usually gender discrimination is when one is refused to extend their credit, refused approval of credit/loan process, and if there is a burden of unequal loan terms based on one's gender. Socially, sexual differences have been used to justify different roles for men and women, in some cases giving rise to claims of primary and secondary roles. While there are alleged non-physical differences between men and women, major reviews of the academic literature on gender difference find only a tiny minority of characteristics where there are consistent psychological differences between men and women, and these relate directly to experiences grounded in biological difference.[65]

US gender pay gap, by sex, race-ethnicity-2009
Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by sex, race, and ethnicity, U.S., 2009.[66]

Unfair discrimination usually follows the gender stereotyping held by a society.[67]

The United Nations had concluded that women often experience a "glass ceiling" and that there are no societies in which women enjoy the same opportunities as men.[68] The term "glass ceiling" is used to describe a perceived barrier to advancement in employment based on discrimination, especially sex discrimination.[69] In the United States in 1995, the Glass Ceiling Commission, a government-funded group, stated: "Over half of all Master's degrees are now awarded to women, yet 95% of senior-level managers, of the top Fortune 1000 industrial and 500 service companies are men. Of them, 97% are white." In its report, it recommended affirmative action, which is the consideration of an employee's gender and race in hiring and promotion decisions, as a means to end this form of discrimination.[70] As of 2010, women accounted for 51% of workers in high-paying management, professional, and related occupations. They outnumbered men in such occupations as public relations managers, financial managers, and human resource managers.[71]

In addition, women are found to experience a sticky floor. While a glass ceiling implies that women are less like to reach the top of the job ladder, a sticky floor is defined as the pattern that women are, compared to men, less likely to start to climb the job ladder. A sticky floor is related to gender differences at the bottom of the wage distribution. It might be explained by both employer discrimination and gender differences in career aspirations.[72]

Intersex persons experience discrimination due to innate, atypical sex characteristics. Multiple jurisdictions now protect individuals on grounds of intersex status or sex characteristics. South Africa was the first country to explicitly add intersex to legislation, as part of the attribute of 'sex'.[73] Australia was the first country to add an independent attribute, of 'intersex status'.[74][75] Malta was the first to adopt a broader framework of 'sex characteristics', through legislation that also ended modifications to the sex characteristics of minors undertaken for social and cultural reasons.[76][77]

Transgender individuals, whether male-to-female, female-to-male, or genderqueer, often experience transphobic problems that often lead to dismissals, underachievement, difficulty in finding a job, social isolation, and, occasionally, violent attacks against them.

Nevertheless, the problem of gender discrimination does not stop at transgender individuals or with women. Men are often the victim in certain areas of employment as men begin to seek work in office and childcare settings traditionally perceived as "women's jobs". One such situation seems to be evident in a recent case concerning alleged YMCA discrimination and a Federal Court Case in Texas.[78] The case actually involves alleged discrimination against both men and black people in childcare, even when they pass the same strict background tests and other standards of employment. It is currently being contended in federal court, as of fall 2009.

Discrimination in slasher films is relevant. Gloria Cowan had a research group study on 57 different slasher films. Their results showed that the non-surviving females were more frequently sexual than the surviving females and the non-surviving males. Surviving as a female slasher victim was strongly associated with the absence of sexual behavior. In slasher films, the message appears to be that sexual women get killed and only the pure women survive, thus reinforcing the idea that female sexuality can be costly.[79]

Sexual orientation

Cologne Germany Cologne-Gay-Pride-2015 Parade-17b
LGBT activists at Cologne Pride carrying a banner with the flags of over 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal.
Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill protest
Protests in New York City against Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

One's sexual orientation is a "predilection for homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality".[80] Like most minority groups, homosexuals and bisexuals are vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination from the majority group. They may experience hatred from others because of their sexual preferences; a term for such hatred based upon one's sexual orientation is often called homophobia. Many continue to hold negative feelings towards those with non-heterosexual orientations and will discriminate against people who have them or are thought to have them. People of other uncommon sexual orientations also experience discrimination. One study found its sample of heterosexuals to be more prejudiced against asexuals than to homosexuals or bisexuals.[81]

Employment discrimination based on sexual orientation varies by country. Revealing a lesbian sexual orientation (by means of mentioning an engagement in a rainbow organisation or by mentioning one's partner name) lowers employment opportunities in Cyprus and Greece but overall, it has no negative effect in Sweden and Belgium.[82][83][84][85] In the latter country, even a positive effect of revealing a lesbian sexual orientation is found for women at their fertile ages.

Besides these academic studies, in 2009, ILGA published a report based on research carried out by Daniel Ottosson at Södertörn University College, Stockholm, Sweden. This research found that of the 80 countries around the world that continue to consider homosexuality illegal, five carry the death penalty for homosexual activity, and two do in some regions of the country.[86] In the report, this is described as "State sponsored homophobia".[87] This happens in Islamic states, or in two cases regions under Islamic authority.[88][89] On February 5, 2005, the IRIN issued a reported titled "Iraq: Male homosexuality still a taboo". The article stated, among other things that honor killings by Iraqis against a gay family member are common and given some legal protection.[90] In August 2009, Human Rights Watch published an extensive report detailing torture of men accused of being gay in Iraq, including the blocking of men's anuses with glue and then giving the men laxatives.[91] Although gay marriage has been legal in South Africa since 2006, same-sex unions are often condemned as "un-African".[92] Research conducted in 2009 shows 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape live in fear of sexual assault.[93]

A number of countries, especially those in the Western world, have passed measures to alleviate discrimination against sexual minorities, including laws against anti-gay hate crimes and workplace discrimination. Some have also legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions in order to grant same-sex couples the same protections and benefits as opposite-sex couples. In 2011, the United Nations passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights.

Drug use

Drug use discrimination is the unequal treatment people experience because of the drugs they use.[94] People who use or have used illicit drugs may face discrimination in employment, welfare, housing, child custody, and travel,[95][96][97][98] in addition to imprisonment, asset forfeiture, and in some cases forced labor, torture, and execution.[99][100] Though often prejudicially stereotyped as deviants and misfits, most drug users are well-adjusted and productive members of society.[101][102] Drug prohibitions may have been partly motivated by racism and other prejudice against minorities,[103][104][105] and racial disparities have been found to exist in the enforcement and prosecution of drug laws.[106][107][108] Discrimination due to illicit drug use was the most commonly reported type of discrimination among Blacks and Latinos in a 2003 study of minority drug users in New York City, double to triple that due to race.[109] People who use legal drugs such as tobacco and prescription medications may also face discrimination.[110][111][112]

Ideas of self-ownership and cognitive liberty affirm rights to use drugs, whether for medicine[113][114][115] recreation,[116][117][118] or spiritual fulfilment.[119][120][121] Those espousing such ideas question the legality of drug prohibition and cite the rights and freedoms enshrined in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights,[122][123] the European Convention on Human Rights,[124][125] and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,[126] as protecting personal drug choices. They are inspired by and see themselves following in the tradition of those who have struggled against other forms of discrimination in the past.[127]

Drug policy reform organizations such as the Drug Policy Alliance,[128] the Drug Equality Alliance,[129] the Transform Drug Policy Foundation,[130] and the Beckley Foundation[131] have highlighted the issue of stigma and discrimination in drug policy. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids also recognizes this issue[132] and shares on its website stories that "break through the stigma and discrimination that people with drug or drinking problems often face."[133]

A report issued by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, critical of the global war on drugs,[134] states, under "Undermining Human Rights, Fostering Discrimination":

Punitive approaches to drug policy are severely undermining human rights in every region of the world. They lead to the erosion of civil liberties and fair trial standards, the stigmatization of individuals and groups – particularly women, young people, and ethnic minorities – and the imposition of abusive and inhumane punishments.[135]

Although still illegal at the federal level, about half of U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use and several of those states have laws, or are considering legislation, specifically protecting medical marijuana patients from discrimination in such areas as education, employment, housing, child custody, and organ transplantation.[136][137][138]

Reverse discrimination

Protesto contra o sistema de cotas
Students protesting against racial quotas in Brazil: "Quer uma vaga? Passe no vestibular!" ("Do you want a spot? Pass the entrance exam!")

In the US, a government policy known as affirmative action was instituted to encourage employers and universities to seek out and accept groups such as African Americans and women, who have been subject to discrimination for a long time.[139]

Some attempts at antidiscrimination have been criticized as reverse discrimination. In particular, minority quotas (for example, affirmative action) may discriminate against members of a dominant or majority group or other minority groups. In its opposition to race preferences, the American Civil Rights Institute's Ward Connerly stated, "There is nothing positive, affirmative, or equal about 'affirmative action' programs that give preference to some groups based on race."[140]

Legislation

Australia

Canada

Hong Kong

  • Sex Discrimination Ordinance (1996)

Israel

Netherlands

  • Article 137c, part 1 of Wetboek van Strafrecht prohibits insults towards a group because of its race, religion, sexual orientation (straight or gay), handicap (somatically, mental or psychiatric) in public or by speech, by writing or by a picture. Maximum imprisonment one year of imprisonment or a fine of the third category.[141][142]
  • Part 2 increases the maximum imprisonment to two years and the maximum fine category to 4,[143] when the crime is committed as a habit or is committed by two or more persons.
  • Article 137d prohibits provoking to discrimination or hate against the group described above. Same penalties apply as in article 137c.[144]
  • Article 137e part 1 prohibits publishing a discriminatory statement, other than in formal message, or hands over an object (that contains discriminatory information) otherwise than on his request. Maximum imprisonment is 6 months or a fine of the third category.[141][145]
  • Part 2 increases the maximum imprisonment to one year and the maximum fine category to 4,[143] when the crime is committed as a habit or committed by two or more persons.
  • Article 137f prohibits supporting discriminatory activities by giving money or goods. Maximum imprisonment is 3 months or a fine of the second category.[146][147]

United Kingdom

United States

United Nations documents

Important UN documents addressing discrimination include:

Theories

Social theories such as egalitarianism assert that social equality should prevail. In some societies, including most developed countries, each individual's civil rights include the right to be free from government sponsored social discrimination.[153] Due to a belief in the capacity to perceive pain or suffering shared by all animals, "abolitionist" or "vegan" egalitarianism maintains that the interests of every individual (regardless its species), warrant equal consideration with the interests of humans, and that not doing so is "speciesist".[154]

Labeling theory

Discrimination, in labeling theory, takes form as mental categorization of minorities and the use of stereotype. This theory describes difference as deviance from the norm, which results in internal devaluation and social stigma[155] that may be seen as discrimination. It is started by describing a "natural" social order. It is distinguished between the fundamental principle of fascism and social democracy. The Nazis in 1930s-era Germany and the pre-1990 Apartheid government of South Africa used racially discriminatory agendas for their political ends. This practice continues with some present day governments.[156]

Game theory

Economist Yanis Varoufakis (2013) argues that "discrimination based on utterly arbitrary characteristics evolves quickly and systematically in the experimental laboratory", and that neither classical game theory nor neoclassical economics can explain this.[157] Varoufakis and Shaun Hargreaves-Heap (2002) ran an experiment where volunteers played a computer-mediated, multiround hawk-dove game (HD game). At the start of each session, each participant was assigned a color at random, either red or blue. At each round, each player learned the color assigned to his or her opponent, but nothing else about the opponent. Hargreaves-Heap and Varoufakis found that the players' behavior within a session frequently developed a discriminatory convention, giving a Nash equilibrium where players of one color (the "advantaged" color) consistently played the aggressive "hawk" strategy against players of the other, "disadvantaged" color, who played the acquiescent "dove" strategy against the advantaged color. Players of both colors used a mixed strategy when playing against players assigned the same color as their own.

The experimenters then added a cooperation option to the game, and found that disadvantaged players usually cooperated with each other, while advantaged players usually did not. They state that while the equilibria reached in the original HD game are predicted by evolutionary game theory, game theory does not explain the emergence of cooperation in the disadvantaged group. Citing earlier psychological work of Matthew Rabin, they hypothesize that a norm of differing entitlements emerges across the two groups, and that this norm could define a "fairness" equilibrium within the disadvantaged group.[158]

State vs. free market

It is debated as to whether or not markets discourage discrimination brought about by the state. One argument is that since discrimination restricts access to customers and incurs additional expense, market logic will punish discrimination. Opposition by companies to "Jim Crow" segregation laws is an example of this.[159] An alternative argument is that markets don't necessarily undermine discrimination, as it is argued that if discrimination is profitable by catering to the "tastes" of individuals (which is the point of the market), then the market will not punish discrimination. It is argued that microeconomic analysis of discrimination uses unusual methods to determine its effects (using explicit treatment of production functions) and that the very existence of discrimination in employment (defined as wages which differ from marginal product of the discriminated employees) in the long run contradicts claims that the market will function well and punish discrimination.[160][161]

See also

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External links

Ableism

Ableism (; also known as ablism, disablism (Brit. English), anapirophobia, anapirism, and disability discrimination) is discrimination and social prejudice against people with disabilities. Ableism characterizes persons as defined by their disabilities and as inferior to the non-disabled. On this basis, people are assigned or denied certain perceived abilities, skills, or character orientations.

There are stereotypes associated with various disabilities. These stereotypes in turn serve as a justification for ableist practices and reinforce discriminatory attitudes and behaviors toward people who are disabled. Labeling affects people when it limits their options for action or changes their identity.In ableist societies, people with disabilities are viewed as less valuable, or even less than human. The eugenics movement of the early 20th century could be considered an example of widespread ableism. The mass murder of disabled in Nazi Germany's Aktion T4 could be an extreme example of ableism.

Affirmative action

Affirmative action, also known as reservation in India and Nepal, positive discrimination in the United Kingdom, and employment equity (in a narrower context) in Canada and South Africa, is the policy of promoting the education and employment of members of groups that are known to have previously suffered from discrimination. Historically and internationally, support for affirmative action has sought to achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing apparent past wrongs, harms, or hindrances.

The nature of affirmative action policies varies from region to region. Some countries use a quota system, whereby a certain percentage of government jobs, political positions, and school vacancies must be reserved for members of a certain group; an example of this is the reservation system in India. In some other regions where quotas are not used, minority group members are given preference or special consideration in selection processes. In the United States, affirmative action in employment and education has been the subject of legal and political controversy; in 2003, a pair of decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger) permitted educational institutions to consider race as a factor when admitting students while prohibiting the use of quotas. In other countries, such as the UK, affirmative action is rendered illegal because it does not treat all races equally. This approach to equal treatment is described as being "color blind". In such countries, the focus tends to be on ensuring equal opportunity and, for example, targeted advertising campaigns to encourage ethnic minority candidates to join the police force. This is sometimes described as "positive action".

Ageism

Ageism (also spelled "agism") is stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. This may be casual or systematic. The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors, and patterned on sexism and racism. Butler defined "ageism" as a combination of three connected elements. Among them were prejudicial attitudes towards older people, old age, and the aging process; discriminatory practices against older people; and institutional practices and policies that perpetuate stereotypes about elderly people.While the term is also used in regards to prejudice and discrimination against adolescents and children, such as denying them certain rights (e.g. voting), ignoring their ideas because they are considered "too young", or assuming that they should behave in certain ways because of their age, the term is predominantly used in relation to the treatment of older people. Older people themselves can be deeply ageist, having internalized a lifetime of negative stereotypes about aging. Fear of death and fear of disability and dependence are major causes of ageism; avoiding, segregating, and rejecting older people are coping mechanisms that allow people to avoid thinking about their own mortality.It can also be passive and covert (e.g., a movie that shows only young people inhabiting a locality and no children, infants or old people are shown in the area to drive the notion that the place is "young and romantic").

Anti-discrimination law

Anti-discrimination law refers to legislation designed to prevent discrimination against particular groups of people; these groups are often referred to as protected groups or protected classes. Anti-discrimination laws vary by jurisdiction with regard to the types of discrimination that are prohibited, and also the groups that are protected by that legislation. Commonly, these types of legislation are designed to prevent discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other areas of social life, such as public accommodations. Anti-discrimination law may include protections for groups based on sex, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, mental illness or ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, sex characteristics, religious, creed, or individual political opinions.

Anti-discrimination laws are rooted in principles of equality, specifically, that individuals should not be treated differently due the characteristics outlined above. Anti-discrimination laws are designed to protect against both individual discrimination (committed by individuals) and from structural discrimination (arising from policies or procedures that disadvantage certain groups). Courts may take into account both discriminatory intent and disparate impact in determining whether a particular action or policy constitutes discrimination.

Caste

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion. It is an extreme evolution of a system of legally-entrenched social classes, also endogamous and hereditary, such as that of feudal Europe. Although caste systems exist in various regions, its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting until today; it is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside India. In biology, the term is applied to role stratification in eusocial animals like ants and termites, though the analogy is imperfect as these also involve extremely stratified reproduction.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark civil rights and U.S. labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.

Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment, and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment.

The legislation had been proposed by U.S. President John F. Kennedy in June 1963, but opposed by filibuster in the Senate. After Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the bill forward, which in its final form was passed in the U.S. Congress by a Senate vote of 73–27 and House vote of 289–126. The Act was signed into law by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, at the White House.

Discrimination against non-binary gender people

Discrimination or prejudice against non-binary people, people who do not identify as exclusively masculine or feminine, is a form of sexism, as well as a specific type of transphobia. Both cisgender and binary transgender people (men and women), including members of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, can display such prejudice.

Discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS

Discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS or serophobia is the prejudice, fear, rejection and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV). Discrimination is one manifestation of stigma, and stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors may fall under the rubric of discrimination depending on the legislation of a particular country. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV/AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease and cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, the individual can live just as long as without the disease.

HIV/AIDS discrimination exists around the world, including ostracism, rejection, discrimination, and avoidance. Consequences of stigma and discrimination against PLHIV may result in low turn-out for HIV counselling and testing, identity crises, isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem and lack of interest in containing the disease.Much HIV/AIDS stigma or discrimination involves homosexuality, bisexuality, promiscuity, sex workers, and intravenous drug use.

In many developed countries, a strong correlation exists between HIV/AIDS and male homosexuality or bisexuality (the CDC states, "Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) represent approximately 2% of the United States population, yet are the population most severely affected by HIV"), and association is correlated with higher levels of sexual prejudice such as homophobic attitudes. An early name for AIDS was gay-related immune deficiency or GRID. During the early 1980s, HIV/AIDS was "a disorder that appears to affect primarily male homosexuals".Some forms of serious discrimination can include: being excluded from consideration for a job, being prohibited from buying a house, needing to pay extra money when renting housing, compulsory HIV testing without prior consent or protection of confidentiality; the quarantine of HIV infected individuals and, in some cases, the loss of property rights when a spouse dies. HIV testing without permission or security may also be considered as wrongdoings against those with HIV. The United States' disability laws prohibit HIV/AIDS discrimination in housing, employment, education, and access to health and social services. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity enforces laws prohibiting housing discrimination based on actual or perceived HIV/AIDS status.

Employment discrimination

Employment discrimination is a form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity by employers. Earnings differentials or occupational differentiation—where differences in pay come from differences in qualifications or responsibilities—should not be confused with employment discrimination. Discrimination can be intended and involve disparate treatment of a group or be unintended, yet create disparate impact for a group.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap or gender wage gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women who are working. Women are generally paid less than men. There are two distinct numbers regarding the pay gap: unadjusted versus adjusted pay gap. The latter takes into account differences in hours worked, occupations chosen, education and job experience. For example, someone who takes time off (e.g. maternity leave) will likely not earn as much as someone who does not take time off from work. Factors like this contribute to lower yearly earnings for women; while the pay gap has narrowed over time, a gender pay gap still exists, even when controlling for these external factors. Unadjusted pay gaps are much higher. In the United States, for example the unadjusted average female's annual salary has commonly been cited as being 78% of the average male salary, compared to 80-98% for the adjusted average salary.The reasons for lower pay include both individual choice and other innate and external factors. An example of a voluntary choice is choosing to work part-time when full-time employment is available. An example of an involuntary choice is working a low-skill job because of an inability to access higher education. An example of an external factor is discrimination.

The gender pay gap can be a problem from a public policy perspective even when the reason for the gap is entirely voluntary, because it reduces economic output and means that women are more likely to be dependent upon welfare payments, especially in old age.

LGBT rights by country or territory

Laws affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people vary greatly by country or territory — encompassing everything from the legal recognition of same-sex marriage to the death penalty for homosexuality.

Laws that affect LGBT people include, but are not limited to, the following:

laws concerning the recognition of same-sex relationships, including same-sex marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships

laws concerning LGBT parenting, including adoption by LGBT people

anti-discrimination laws in employment, housing, education, public accommodations

anti-bullying legislation to protect LGBT children at school

hate crime laws imposing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people

bathroom bills affecting access to sex-segregated facilities by transgender people

laws related to sexual orientation and military service

laws concerning access to assisted reproductive technology

sodomy laws that penalize consensual same-sex sexual activity

age of consent laws that may impose higher ages for same-sex sexual activity

laws regarding donation of blood by men who have sex with men

laws concerning access to sex reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy

legal recognition and accommodation of reassigned genderNotably, 25 countries, all of which being developed democracies or developing democracies, recognized same-sex marriage as of 2018. By contrast, 10 countries or jurisdictions, all of which are Islamic and ruled by sharia, were imposing the death penalty for homosexuality.

In 2011, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights, following which the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report documenting violations of the rights of LGBT people, including hate crimes, criminalization of homosexual activity, and discrimination. Following the issuance of the report, the United Nations urged all countries which had not yet done so to enact laws protecting basic LGBT rights.

Mental disorder

A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitting, or occur as a single episode. Many disorders have been described, with signs and symptoms that vary widely between specific disorders. Such disorders may be diagnosed by a mental health professional.

The causes of mental disorders are often unclear. Theories may incorporate findings from a range of fields. Mental disorders are usually defined by a combination of how a person behaves, feels, perceives, or thinks. This may be associated with particular regions or functions of the brain, often in a social context. A mental disorder is one aspect of mental health. Cultural and religious beliefs, as well as social norms, should be taken into account when making a diagnosis.Services are based in psychiatric hospitals or in the community, and assessments are carried out by mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, using various methods such as psychometric tests but often relying on observation and questioning. Treatments are provided by various mental health professionals. Psychotherapy and psychiatric medication are two major treatment options. Other treatments include lifestyle changes, social interventions, peer support, and self-help. In a minority of cases there might be involuntary detention or treatment. Prevention programs have been shown to reduce depression.Common mental disorders include depression, which affects about 300 million, bipolar disorder, which affects about 60 million, dementia, which affects about 50 million, and schizophrenia and other psychoses, which affects about 23 million people globally. Stigma and discrimination can add to the suffering and disability associated with mental disorders, leading to various social movements attempting to increase understanding and challenge social exclusion.

Misandry

Misandry () is the hatred of, contempt for, or prejudice against men or boys. "Misandrous" or "misandrist" can be used as adjectival forms of the word. Misandry can manifest itself in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of men, violence against men, and sexual objectification of men.

Prejudice

Prejudice is an affective feeling towards a person or group member based solely on that person's group membership (tribal behavior). The word is often used to refer to preconceived, usually unfavourable, feelings towards people or a person because of their political affiliation, sex, gender, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race/ethnicity, language, nationality, beauty, occupation, education, criminality, sport team affiliation or other personal characteristics. In this case, it refers to a positive or negative evaluation of another person based on that person's perceived group membership.Prejudice can also refer to unfounded or pigeonholed beliefs and it may include "any unreasonable attitude that is unusually resistant to rational influence". Gordon Allport defined prejudice as a "feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person or thing, prior to, or not based on, actual experience". For the evolutionary psychology perspective, see Prejudice from an evolutionary perspective. Auestad (2015) defines prejudice as characterized by 'symbolic transfer', transfer of a value-laden meaning content onto a socially formed category and then on to individuals who are taken to belong to that category, resistance to change, and overgeneralization.Prejudice can also be classified as a reaction to a race and/or culture based purely on experience.

Racial discrimination

Racial discrimination refers to discrimination against individuals on the basis of their race. Policies of racial segregation may formalize it, but it is also often exerted without being legalised and also it means facing injustice.

Racism

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another, which often results in discrimination and prejudice towards people based on their race or ethnicity. The use of the term "racism" does not easily fall under a single definition.The ideology underlying racism often includes the idea that humans can be subdivided into distinct groups that are different due to their social behavior and their innate capacities, as well as the idea that they can be ranked as inferior or superior. Historical examples of institutional racism include the Holocaust, the apartheid regime in South Africa, slavery and segregation in the United States, and slavery in Latin America. Racism was also an aspect of the social organization of many colonial states and empires.

While the concepts of race and ethnicity are considered to be separate in contemporary social science, the two terms have a long history of equivalence in both popular usage and older social science literature. "Ethnicity" is often used in a sense close to one traditionally attributed to "race": the division of human groups based on qualities assumed to be essential or innate to the group (e.g. shared ancestry or shared behavior). Therefore, racism and racial discrimination are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. According to a United Nations convention on racial discrimination, there is no distinction between the terms "racial" and "ethnic" discrimination. The UN convention further concludes that superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust and dangerous. It also declared that there is no justification for racial discrimination, anywhere, in theory or in practice.Racist ideology can manifest in many aspects of social life. Racism can be present in social actions, practices, or political systems (e.g., apartheid) that support the expression of prejudice or aversion in discriminatory practices or laws. Associated social actions may include nativism, xenophobia, otherness, segregation, hierarchical ranking, supremacism, and related social phenomena.

Racism in the United States

Racism in the United States has existed since the colonial era. Legally or socially sanctioned privileges and rights were given to white Americans but denied to all other races. European Americans (particularly affluent white Anglo-Saxon Protestants) were granted exclusive privileges in matters of education, immigration, voting rights, citizenship, land acquisition, and criminal procedure throughout American history. However, non-Protestant immigrants from Europe, particularly Irish, Italians, and Poles, often suffered xenophobic exclusion and other forms of discrimination in American society until the late 1800s and early 1900s. In addition, Middle Eastern American groups like Jews and Arabs have faced continuous discrimination in the United States, and as a result, some people belonging to these groups do not identify as white. East, South, and Southeast Asians have similarly faced racism in America.

Major racially and ethnically structured institutions include slavery, segregation, Native American reservations, Native American boarding schools, immigration and naturalization law, and internment camps. Formal racial discrimination was largely banned in the mid-20th century and came to be perceived as socially and morally unacceptable. Racial politics remain a major phenomenon, and racism continues to be reflected in socioeconomic inequality. Racial stratification continues to occur in employment, housing, education, lending, and government.

In the view of the United Nations and the U.S. Human Rights Network, "discrimination in the United States permeates all aspects of life and extends to all communities of color." While the nature of the views held by average Americans has changed significantly over the past several decades, surveys by organizations such as ABC News have found that even in modern America, large sections of Americans admit to holding discriminatory viewpoints. For example, a 2007 article by ABC stated that about one in ten admitted to holding prejudices against Hispanic and Latino Americans and about one in four did so regarding Arab-Americans. A 2018 YouGov/Economist poll found that 17% of Americans oppose interracial marriage, with 19% of "other" ethnic groups, 18% of blacks, 17% of whites, and 15% of Hispanics opposing.Some Americans saw the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States from 2008 to 2016 as a sign that the nation had entered a new, post-racial era. The right-wing populist radio host Lou Dobbs claimed in November 2009, "We are now in a 21st-century post-partisan, post-racial society." Two months later, Chris Matthews, an MSNBC host, said President Obama, "is post-racial by all appearances. You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour." The election of President Donald Trump in 2016 has been viewed by some commentators as a racist backlash against the election of Barack Obama.During the 2010s, American society continues to experience high levels of racism and discrimination. One new phenomenon has been the rise of the "alt-right" movement: a white nationalist coalition that seeks the expulsion of sexual and racial minorities from the United States. In August 2017, these groups attended a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, intended to unify various white nationalist factions. During the rally, a white supremacist demonstrator drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing one person and injuring 19. Since the mid-2010s, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have considered white supremacist violence to be the leading threat of domestic terrorism in the United States.

Sexism

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Gender discrimination may encompass sexism, and is discrimination toward people based on their gender identity or their gender or sex differences. Gender discrimination is especially defined in terms of workplace inequality.

Trans woman

A trans woman (sometimes trans-woman or transwoman) is a woman who was assigned male at birth. Trans women may experience gender dysphoria and may transition; this process commonly includes hormone replacement therapy and sometimes sex reassignment surgery, which can bring immense relief and even resolve gender dysphoria entirely. Trans women may be heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual, or identify with other terms (such as queer).

The term transgender woman is not always interchangeable with transsexual woman, although the terms are often used interchangeably. Transgender is an umbrella term that includes different types of gender variant people (including transsexual people). Trans women face a vast amount of discrimination (transmisogyny, a subset of transphobia), including in employment and access to housing, and face physical and sexual violence and hate crimes, including from partners; discrimination is particularly severe towards non-white trans women, who often face the intersection of transphobia and racism.

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