Discrimination

Discrimination

Overview
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be used as an expression of derogatory racial prejudice in the 1830s from Thomas D. Rice
Thomas D. Rice
Thomas Dartmouth Rice was a white performer and playwright who used African American vernacular speech, song, and dance to become one of the most popular minstrel show entertainers of his time.-Background:...

's performances as "Jim Crow".

Since the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 the term 'discrimination' generally evolved in American English
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

 usage as an understanding of prejudicial
Prejudice
Prejudice is making a judgment or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy, or "judging a book by its cover"...

 treatment of an individual based solely on their race, later generalized as membership in a certain socially undesirable group or social category.

Discriminatory laws such as redlining
Redlining
Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of services such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care, or even supermarkets to residents in certain, often racially determined, areas. The term "redlining" was coined in the late 1960s by John McKnight, a...

 exist in many countries.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Discrimination'
Start a new discussion about 'Discrimination'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia
Discrimination is the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. It involves the actual behaviors towards groups such as excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group. The term began to be used as an expression of derogatory racial prejudice in the 1830s from Thomas D. Rice
Thomas D. Rice
Thomas Dartmouth Rice was a white performer and playwright who used African American vernacular speech, song, and dance to become one of the most popular minstrel show entertainers of his time.-Background:...

's performances as "Jim Crow".

Since the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 the term 'discrimination' generally evolved in American English
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

 usage as an understanding of prejudicial
Prejudice
Prejudice is making a judgment or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy, or "judging a book by its cover"...

 treatment of an individual based solely on their race, later generalized as membership in a certain socially undesirable group or social category.

Discriminatory laws such as redlining
Redlining
Redlining is the practice of denying, or increasing the cost of services such as banking, insurance, access to jobs, access to health care, or even supermarkets to residents in certain, often racially determined, areas. The term "redlining" was coined in the late 1960s by John McKnight, a...

 exist in many countries. In some places, controversial attempts such as racial quotas
Racial quotas
Racial quotas in employment and education are numerical requirements for hiring, promoting, admitting and/or graduating members of a particular racial group. Racial quotas are often established as means of diminishing racial discrimination, addressing under-representation and evident racism against...

 have been used to redress negative effects of discrimination.

Discrimination is not always against a disadvantaged group. When a majority group (white, male, heterosexual, rich etc.) is discriminated against because they are a member of this group this is usually called reverse discrimination.

Definitions


Within sociology
Sociology
Sociology is the study of society. It is a social science—a term with which it is sometimes synonymous—which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social activity...

, 'discrimination' is the prejudicial
Prejudice
Prejudice is making a judgment or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy, or "judging a book by its cover"...

 treatment of an individual based on their membership in a certain group or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards members of another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups. Moral philosophers have defined it as disadvantageous treatment or consideration. This is a comparative definition. An individual need not be actually harmed in order to be discriminated against. He or she just needs 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, he or she will be acting in a discriminatory way even if he or she actually benefits the people he discriminates against by donating some money to them.

The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 stance on discrimination includes a statement that: "Discriminatory behaviors take many forms, but they all involve some form of exclusion or rejection."

Racial and ethnic discrimination


Racial discrimination differentiates between individuals on the basis of real and perceived racial differences, and has been official government policy in several countries, such as South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 in the apartheid era, the Occupied Palestinian Territories with the apartheid separation wall and the USA.


In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, racial profiling
Racial profiling
Racial profiling refers to the use of an individual’s race or ethnicity by law enforcement personnel as a key factor in deciding whether to engage in enforcement...

 of minorities by law enforcement officials has been called racial discrimination. As early as 1865, the Civil Rights Act provided a remedy for intentional race discrimination in employment by private employers and state and local public employers.

The Civil Rights Act of 1871 applies to public employment or employment involving state action prohibiting deprivation of rights secured by the federal constitution or federal laws through action under color of law. Title VII is the principal federal statute with regard to employment discrimination prohibiting unlawful employment discrimination by public and private employers, labor organizations, training programs and employment agencies based on race or color, religion, gender, and national origin.

Title VII also prohibits retaliation against any person for opposing any practice forbidden by statute, or for making a charge, testifying, assisting, or participating in a proceeding under the statute. 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. Title VII also provides that race and color discrimination against every race and color is prohibited.


Within the criminal justice system in some Western countries, minorities are convicted and imprisoned disproportionately when compared with whites. In 1998, nearly one out of three black men between the ages of 20-29 were in prison or jail, on probation or parole on any given day in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. First Nations
First Nations
First Nations is a term that collectively refers to various Aboriginal peoples in Canada who are neither Inuit nor Métis. There are currently over 630 recognised First Nations governments or bands spread across Canada, roughly half of which are in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia. The...

 make up about 2% of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

's population, but account for 18% of the federal prison population as of 2000. According to the Australian government's June 2006 publication of prison statistics, indigenous
Indigenous Australians
Indigenous Australians are the original inhabitants of the Australian continent and nearby islands. The Aboriginal Indigenous Australians migrated from the Indian continent around 75,000 to 100,000 years ago....

 peoples make up 24% of the overall prison population in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

.

In 2004, Māori made up just 15% of the total population of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 but 49.5% of prisoners. Māori were entering prison at 8 times the rate of non-Māori. A quarter of the people in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

's prisons are from an ethnic minority. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found that five times more black people than white people per head of population in England and Wales are imprisoned. Experts and politicians said over-representation of black men was a result of decades of racial prejudice in the criminal justice system.

Sex, Gender and Gender Identity discrimination


Though gender discrimination and sexism refers to beliefs and attitudes
Attitude (psychology)
An attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's degree of like or dislike for something. Attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person, place, thing, or event— this is often referred to as the attitude object...

 in relation to the gender
Gender
Gender is a range of characteristics used to distinguish between males and females, particularly in the cases of men and women and the masculine and feminine attributes assigned to them. Depending on the context, the discriminating characteristics vary from sex to social role to gender identity...

 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 in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries.

Currently, discrimination based on sex is defined as adverse action against another person, which would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. This is considered a form of prejudice
Prejudice
Prejudice is making a judgment or assumption about someone or something before having enough knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy, or "judging a book by its cover"...

 and is illegal in certain enumerated circumstances in most 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 because an employer did not hire, promote or wrongfully terminated an employee based on their gender, or employers pay unequally based on gender.

In an educational setting there could be claims that a student was excluded from an educational institution, program, opportunity, loan, student group, or scholarship due to 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.

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. However, there are also some psychological differences in regard to how problems are dealt with and emotional perceptions and reactions which may relate to hormones and the successful characteristics of each gender during longstanding roles in past primitive lifestyles.

Unfair discrimination usually follows the gender stereotyping
Sexism
Sexism, also known as gender discrimination or sex discrimination, is the application of the belief or attitude that there are characteristics implicit to one's gender that indirectly affect one's abilities in unrelated areas...

 held by a society.

The United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 had concluded that women often experience a "glass ceiling
Glass ceiling
In economics, the term glass ceiling refers to "the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements." Initially, the metaphor applied to barriers in the careers of women but...

" and that there are no societies in which women enjoy the same opportunities as men. The term "glass ceiling" is used to describe a perceived barrier to advancement in employment based on discrimination, especially sex discrimination.

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 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
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

, 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. In 2008, women accounted for 51% of all workers in the high-paying management, professional, and related occupations. They outnumbered men in such occupations as public relations managers; financial managers; and human resource managers.

The China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

's leading headhunter, Chinahr.com, reported in 2007 that the average salary for white-collar men was 44,000 yuan ($6,441), compared with 28,700 yuan ($4,201) for women.

The PwC research found that among FTSE 350 companies in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 2002 almost 40% of senior management posts were occupied by women. When that research was repeated in 2007, the number of senior management posts held by women had fallen to 22%.

Transgender
Transgender
Transgender is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles....

 individuals, both male to female and female to male, often experience problems which 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. The case actually involves alleged discrimination against both men and blacks 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, and sheds light on how a workplace dominated by a majority (women in this case) sometimes will seemingly "justify" whatever they wish to do, regardless of the law. This may be done as an effort at self-protection, to uphold traditional societal roles, or some other faulty, unethical or illegal prejudicial reasoning.

Legislation



Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...


Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • Ontario Human Rights Code
    Ontario Human Rights Code
    The Human Rights Code of Ontario is a provincial law in the province of Ontario, Canada that gives all people equal rights and opportunities without discrimination in specific areas such as jobs, housing and services...

     1962
  • Canadian Human Rights Act
    Canadian Human Rights Act
    The Canadian Human Rights Act is a statute originally passed by the Parliament of Canada in 1977 with the express goal of extending the law to ensure equal opportunity to individuals who may be victims of discriminatory practices based on a set prohibited grounds such as gender, disability, or...

     1977

Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

  • Sex Discrimination Ordinance (1996)

United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • Equal Pay Act 1970
    Equal Pay Act 1970
    The Equal Pay Act 1970 is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament which prohibits any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. It was passed by Parliament in the aftermath of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike and came into force on 29...

     – provides for equal pay for comparable work
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
    Sex Discrimination Act 1975
    The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which protected men and women from discrimination on the grounds of sex or marriage. The Act concerned employment, training, education, harassment, the provision of goods and services, and the disposal of premises...

     – makes discrimination against women or men, including discrimination on the grounds of marital status, illegal in the workplace.
  • Human Rights Act 1998
    Human Rights Act 1998
    The Human Rights Act 1998 is an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom which received Royal Assent on 9 November 1998, and mostly came into force on 2 October 2000. Its aim is to "give further effect" in UK law to the rights contained in the European Convention on Human Rights...

     – provides more scope for redressing all forms of discriminatory imbalances

United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  • Equal Pay Act of 1963
    Equal Pay Act of 1963
    The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States federal law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex . It was signed into law on June 10, 1963 by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program...

     – (part of the Fair Labor Standards Act
    Fair Labor Standards Act
    The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 is a federal statute of the United States. The FLSA established a national minimum wage, guaranteed 'time-and-a-half' for overtime in certain jobs, and prohibited most employment of minors in "oppressive child labor," a term that is defined in the statute...

    ) – prohibits wage discrimination by employers and labor organizations based on sex
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against African Americans and women, including racial segregation...

     – broadly prohibits discrimination in the workplace including hiring, firing, workforce reduction, benefits, and sexually harassing conduct
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – covers discrimination based upon pregnancy in the workplace
  • Violence Against Women Act
    Violence Against Women Act
    The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 is a United States federal law. It was passed as Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, , and signed as by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994...


Caste discrimination


According to UNICEF and Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, caste
Caste
Caste is an elaborate and complex social system that combines elements of endogamy, occupation, culture, social class, tribal affiliation and political power. It should not be confused with race or social class, e.g. members of different castes in one society may belong to the same race, as in India...

 discrimination affects an estimated 250 million people worldwide. Discrimination based on caste, as perceived by UNICEF, is prevalent mainly in parts of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 (India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

) and Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

. Currently, there are an estimated 160 million Dalit
Dalit
Dalit is a designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as Untouchable. Dalits are a mixed population, consisting of numerous castes from all over South Asia; they speak a variety of languages and practice a multitude of religions...

s or Scheduled Castes (formerly known as "untouchables") in India.

Employment discrimination


Employment discrimination refers to disabling certain people to apply and receive jobs based on their race, age, gender, religion, height, weight, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. In relationship to sociology, employment discrimination usually relates to what events are happening in society at the time. For example, it would have seemed ludicrous to hire an African American male and absolutely unheard of to hire an African American woman over 50 years ago. However, in our society today, it is the absolute norm to hire any qualified person.

Many laws prohibit employment discrimination. If a person uses discriminatory hiring practices, they can be sued for hate crimes. However, some minority groups (notably LGBT people) remain unprotected by U.S. federal law from employment discrimination.

The American federal laws that protect against:

Most other western nations have similar laws protecting these groups.

Sexual orientation discrimination



See: heterosexism
Heterosexism
Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior...

, heteronormativity
Heteronormativity
Heteronormativity is a term invented in 1991 to describe any of a set of lifestyle norms that hold that people fall into distinct and complementary genders with natural roles in life. It also holds that heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation, and states that sexual and marital relations...

, and homophobia
Homophobia
Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior, although these are usually covered under other terms such as biphobia and transphobia. Definitions refer to irrational fear, with the...



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
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 illegal, five carry the death penalty
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 for homosexual activity, and two do in some regions of the country. In the report, this is described as "State sponsored homophobia". This happens in Islamic
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 states, or in two cases regions under Islamic authority.

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. 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.

In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, same-sex unions are often condemned as "un-African." Research shows 86% of black lesbians from the Western Cape
Western Cape
The Western Cape is a province in the south west of South Africa. The capital is Cape Town. Prior to 1994, the region that now forms the Western Cape was part of the much larger Cape Province...

 live in fear of sexual assault.

Language discrimination


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. Commonly, the preferred language is just another attribute of separate ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s. Discrimination exists if there is prejudicial treatment against a person or a group of people who speak a particular language or dialect.

Language discrimination is suggested to be labeled linguicism
Linguicism
Linguicism or linguistic discrimination is a form of prejudice, an "-ism" along the lines of racism, ageism or sexism. Broadly defined, it involves an individual making judgments about another's wealth, education, social status, character, and/or other traits based on choice and use of language.The...

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
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

 in more than two languages.

Reverse discrimination


Some attempts at antidiscrimination have been criticized as reverse discrimination. In particular, minority quotas (for example, affirmative action
Affirmative action
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

) discriminate against members of a dominant or majority group. In its opposition to race preferences, the American Civil Rights Institute's Ward Connerly
Ward Connerly
Wardell Anthony "Ward" Connerly is an American political activist, businessman, and former University of California Regent . He is also the founder and the chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, a national non-profit organization in opposition to racial and gender preferences...

 stated, "There is nothing positive, affirmative, or equal about 'affirmative action' programs that give preference to some groups based on race." There are cases, however, such as the Noack v. YMCA case in U.S. Fifth Circuit Court, which include outright anti-male gender bias in a traditionally female work environment like childcare. That former employee claims to have suffered even physical assaults, and was allegedly also told to not hire too many blacks or men.

Disability discrimination


Discrimination against people with disabilities in favor of people who are not is called ableism
Ableism
Ableism is a form of discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities. It is known by many names, including disability discrimination, physicalism, handicapism, and disability oppression...

 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.

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.

Religious discrimination


Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe. For instance, the indigenous Christian population of Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

 (known as "rayah" or "protected flock") lived under the Ottoman
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 Kanun–i–Rayah. The word is sometimes translated as 'cattle' rather than 'flock' or 'subjects' to emphasize the inferior status of the rayah. In the Ottoman Empire, in accordance with the Muslim dhimmi
Dhimmi
A , is a non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with sharia law. Linguistically, the word means "one whose responsibility has been taken". This has to be understood in the context of the definition of state in Islam...

system, Christians were guaranteed limited freedoms (such as the right to worship), but were treated as second-class citizen
Second-class citizen
Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there...

s. Christians and Jews were not considered equals to Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s: testimony against Muslims by Christians and Jews was inadmissible in courts of law. They were forbidden to carry weapons or ride atop horses, their houses could not overlook those of Muslims, and their religious practices would have to defer to those of Muslims, in addition to various other legal limitations.

Restrictions upon Jewish occupations were imposed by Christian authorities. Local rulers and church officials closed many professions to Jews, pushing them into marginal roles considered socially inferior, such as tax and rent collecting and moneylending, occupations only tolerated as a "necessary evil". The number of Jews permitted to reside in different places was limited; they were concentrated in ghetto
Ghetto
A ghetto is a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group who live there, especially because of social, economic, or legal issues.The term was originally used in Venice to describe the area where Jews were compelled to live. The term now refers to an overcrowded urban area often associated...

s and were not allowed to own land. The Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 decreed that Jews must wear distinguishing clothing.

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
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted on July 9, 1868, as one of the Reconstruction Amendments.Its Citizenship Clause provides a broad definition of citizenship that overruled the Dred Scott v...

. Whereas religious civil liberties, such as the right to hold or not to hold a religious belief, are essential for Freedom of Religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

 (in the United States secured by the First Amendment
First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering...

), 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."

The tax-exempt status of religious organizations discriminates against atheists or people who do not believe in organized religions, in much the same way that mobility allowance for people who can't walk discriminates against those who simply have bad knees but can still walk.

Discrimination


Social theories such as Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism
Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...

 claim that social equality
Social equality
Social equality is a social state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in a certain respect. At the very least, social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, and the...

 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.
Due to a belief in the capacity to perceive pain and/or suffering shared by all animals, 'abolitionist' or 'vegan' egalitarianism maintains that the interests of every individual (regardless its species), warrant equal consideration
Equal consideration of interests
"Equal consideration of interests" is the name of a moral principle that states that one should both include all affected interests when calculating the rightness of an action, and weigh those interests equally....

 with the interests of humans, and that not doing so is "speciesist
Speciesism
Speciesism is the assigning of different values or rights to beings on the basis of their species membership. The term was created by British psychologist Richard D...

".

Conservative and anarcho-capitalist


In contrast, conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 writer and law professor Matthias Storme
Matthias Storme
Matthias Edward Storme is a Belgian lawyer, academic and conservative philosopher.- Family life :Storme was born and raised in a Catholic family in the Belgian city of Ghent. His father Marcel Storme Matthias Edward Storme (born Ghent, 1959) is a Belgian lawyer, academic and conservative...

 has claimed that the freedom of discrimination in human societies is a fundamental human right, or more precisely, the basis of all fundamental freedoms and therefore the most fundamental freedom. Author Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Hans-Hermann Hoppe is an Austrian School economist of the anarcho-capitalist tradition, and a Professor Emeritus of economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.-Academic career:...

, in an essay about his book Democracy: The God That Failed
Democracy: The God That Failed
Democracy: The God That Failed is a 2001 book by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, containing a series of thirteen essays on the subject of democracy and concluding with the belief that democracy is the primary cause of the decivilization sweeping the world since World War I, and that it must be delegitimized.He...

, asserts that a natural social order is characterized by increased discrimination.

Labeling theory


Discrimination, in labeling theory
Labeling theory
Labeling theory is closely related to interactionist and social construction theories. Labeling theory was developed by sociologists during the 1960's. Howard Saul Becker's book entitled Outsiders was extremely influential in the development of this theory and its rise to popularity...

, takes form as mental categorization of minorities and the use of stereotype
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

. This theory describes difference as deviance from the norm, which results in internal devaluation and social stigma 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 1930's-era Germany, the pre-1990 Apartheid government of South Africa used racial discriminatory agendas for their political ends. This practice continues with some present day governments.

State discrimination


In politics, the dominating part of the population rules. Therefore, the worst discrimination in the history has been committed by states. For example, the anti-semitic practices of the Nazi-Germany would not have happened on free market
Free market
A free market is a competitive market where prices are determined by supply and demand. However, the term is also commonly used for markets in which economic intervention and regulation by the state is limited to tax collection, and enforcement of private ownership and contracts...

s, because they would have caused losses.

However, government officials and politicians need not care about losses as much as companies, which decreases their incentive not to discriminate. For example, around 1900 the afro-Americans started to compete of jobs that had previously been all-white jobs. Because whites had more voting power, they enacted a law that made photographs of the applicants obligatory in civil service job applications. The number of blacks in federal employment plummeted for decades.

In early 20th century South Africa mine owners preferred hiring black workers because they were cheaper. Then the whites successfully persuaded the government to enact laws that highly restricted the black' rights to work (see Apartheid).

Similarly, to make more profits, producers hires secretly screenwriters who were on Senator Joseph McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

's blacklist, which mitigated the effects of the list.

When the "Jim Crow" racial segregation laws were enacted in the U.S., many companies disobeyed them for years, because the market automatically punishes companies that discriminate: they lose customers and get additional expenses. It took 15 years for the government to break down the resistance of the companies.

Markets punish the discriminator


The Nobel prize winning economist Gary Becker
Gary Becker
Gary Stanley Becker is an American economist. He is a professor of economics, sociology at the University of Chicago and a professor at the Booth School of Business. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1992, and received the United States' Presidential Medal of Freedom...

 showed in his book The Economics of Discrimination (University of Chicago Press, 1957) how the markets automatically punish the companies that discriminate.

The profitability of the company that discriminates is decreased, and the loss is "directly proportional to how much the employer's decision was based on prejudice, rather than on merit." Indeed, choosing a worker with lower performance (in comparison to salary) causes losses proportional to the difference in performance. Similarly, the customers who discriminate against certain kinds of workers in favor of less effective ones have to pay more for their services, on average.

If a company discriminates, it typically loses profitability and market share to the companies that do not discriminate, unless the state limits free competition protecting the discriminators.

Scapegoats


Many people blame scapegoats for problems that are not their fault. This is common when two deprived ethnic groups compete with one another for economic rewards. This is normally directed against groups that are relatively powerless, because they make an easy target. It frequently involves projection, which is the unconscious attribution to the others of ones own desires or characteristics.

See also


  • Ableism
    Ableism
    Ableism is a form of discrimination or social prejudice against people with disabilities. It is known by many names, including disability discrimination, physicalism, handicapism, and disability oppression...

  • Adultism
    Adultism
    Adultism has been defined as "the power adults have over children". More narrowly, 'adultism is prejudice and accompanying systematic discrimination against young people'...

  • Affirmative action
    Affirmative action
    Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin" into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination.-Origins:The term...

  • Ageism
    Ageism
    Ageism, also called age discrimination is stereotyping of and discrimination against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination...

  • Allport's scale
    Allport's Scale
    Allport's Scale is a measure of the manifestation of prejudice in a society. It is also referred to as Allport's Scale of Prejudice and Discrimination or Allport's Scale of Prejudice. It was devised by psychologist Gordon Allport in 1954 ....

  • Anti-discrimination law
    Anti-discrimination law
    Anti-discrimination law refers to the law on people's right to be treated equally. Some countries mandate that in employment, in consumer transactions and in political participation people may be dealt with on an equal basis regardless of sex, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality and sometimes...

  • Apartheid
  • Colorism
    Colorism
    Colorism is prejudice or discrimination in which human beings are accorded differing social treatment based on skin color. The preference often gets translated into economic status because of opportunities for work. Colorism can be found across the world...

  • Egalitarianism
    Egalitarianism
    Egalitarianism is a trend of thought that favors equality of some sort among moral agents, whether persons or animals. Emphasis is placed upon the fact that equality contains the idea of equity of quality...


  • Equal opportunity
    Equal opportunity
    Equal opportunity, or equality of opportunity, is a controversial political concept; and an important informal decision-making standard without a precise definition involving fair choices within the public sphere...

  • Equal rights
    Equal rights
    Equal rights can refer to:*Equality before the law, when all people have the same rights*Human rights, when such rights are held in common by all people*Civil rights, when such rights are held in common by all citizens of a nation...

  • Genetic discrimination
    Genetic discrimination
    Genetic discrimination occurs when people are treated differently by their employer or insurance company because they have a gene mutation that causes or increases the risk of an inherited disorder. People who undergo genetic testing may be at risk for genetic discrimination.The results of a...

  • Genocide
    Genocide
    Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

  • Heightism
    Heightism
    Heightism is prejudice or discrimination based on height. In principle it can refer to treatment of either unusually tall or short people.-Origin of the term:...

  • Homophobia
    Homophobia
    Homophobia is a term used to refer to a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards lesbian, gay and in some cases bisexual, transgender people and behavior, although these are usually covered under other terms such as biphobia and transphobia. Definitions refer to irrational fear, with the...

  • Institutionalized discrimination
    Institutionalized discrimination
    Institutionalized discrimination refers to the unfair, indirect treatment of an individual embedded in the operating procedures, policies, laws, or objectives of large organizations such as the governments and corporations, financial institutions , public institutions , and other larger...

  • Microaggression
  • Persecution
    Persecution
    Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic persecution, and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, isolation,...


  • California Proposition 8 (2008)
    California Proposition 8 (2008)
    Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

  • Racial segregation
    Racial segregation
    Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

  • Racism
    Racism
    Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

  • Reverse discrimination
    Reverse discrimination
    Reverse discrimination is a controversial term referring to discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group, including the city or state, or in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group such as African Americans being slaves. Groups may be defined in terms of...

  • Second-class citizen
    Second-class citizen
    Second-class citizen is an informal term used to describe a person who is systematically discriminated against within a state or other political jurisdiction, despite their nominal status as a citizen or legal resident there...

  • Sexism
    Sexism
    Sexism, also known as gender discrimination or sex discrimination, is the application of the belief or attitude that there are characteristics implicit to one's gender that indirectly affect one's abilities in unrelated areas...

  • State racism
    State racism
    State racism is a concept used by French philosopher Michel Foucault to designate the reappropriation of the historical and political discourse of "race struggle", in the late seventeenth century....

  • Statistical discrimination (economics)
    Statistical discrimination (economics)
    Statistical discrimination is an economic theory of racial or gender inequality based on stereotypes. According to this theory, inequality may exist and persist between demographic groups even when economic agents are rational and non-prejudiced...


External links