July 25, 2013
1. What is discrimination? How is discrimination different from prejudice and stereotyping?
Discrimination is the denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of prejudice or for other arbitrary reasons (Schaefer, p. 61, 2012). For example, say both a Caucasian and an African American know of a job opening and want to apply. The Caucasian goes in and asks about the opening and is given the application and an interview; then the African American does the same but is told that they are indeed not hiring and are not even given the application or an interview, this is discrimination. Now you ask how discrimination is different from prejudice and stereotyping. Well first let us take a look at the definitions. Prejudice is defined as a negative attitude that rejects an entire category of people, such as a racial or ethnic minority (Schaefer, p. 35, 2012). This is different from discrimination because it does not include the denial of any opportunities or equal rights and is more directed to an individual’s personal opinions of another group that they are not a part of. Stereotyping is defined as, unreliable, exaggerated generalizations about all members of a group that do not take individual differences into account (Schaefer, p. 40, 2012). This is different than discrimination because it also does not focus on the denial of any opportunities or equal rights, but instead it focuses more on statements or thoughts made by another individual or individuals of one group about another group. Although discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping all go hand-in-hand with one another they all are different in very minute ways.
2. What are the causes of discrimination?
One major reason for the cause of discrimination is the income gaps that exist between racial and ethnic groups (Schaefer, p. 59, 2012). Income plays a major role into the opportunities and resources that are available to the different groups and how they will go through life. For instance, if Hispanics have a lower income then the white majority then they in turn have a decreased ability of being able to go into further education such as college because they cannot afford it. Income can also play a role into discrimination when we discuss institutional discrimination. An example of this would be the standards for assessing credit risks work against African Americans and Hispanics who seek to establish businesses because many lack conventional credit references (Schaefer, p. 65, 2012). Businesses in low-income areas where these groups often reside also have much higher insurance costs (Schaefer, p. 65, 2012). Income is just one reason that causes discrimination but the lack of resources available to minorities, such as schooling is another reason in itself. If a minority