Discrimination often stems from social categorisation; judgements based on different social group stereotypes.
An example of this is if organisations use a general policy or practice which results in discriminatory effect upon a disabled job applicant, employee or even ex-employee. In order to ensure that disability-related discrimination hasn’t occurred, the organisation should give the individual a valid reason in which their disability doesn’t intervene and lessen their chances. However this may still not stop discrimination from occurring against these individuals in their work-place. In 2008, it was stated that 19% of disabled people experienced unfair treatment at work compared to 13% of non-disabled people.
There are many said causes of disability discrimination; these include a varied amount of diverse reasons. One cause is said to be having ancestors who lived in such harsh and hostile environments. Through this they developed the mind-set of there being no area in society for those unable to take care of themselves. Another cause includes the possibility of it being purely due to human nature; not knowing exactly how to interact with them and therefore avoiding the ‘uncomfortable’ encounter. Low self-esteem may also be a reason. Those who suffer from this may try to find someone “lower than them” in order to feel superior because certain individuals look different to what society expects them to look like. Or lastly, the reason could be as simple as primal instinct, such as an ”survival of the fittest” viewpoint, that those with no health issues automatically feel superior to those who do.
The theoretical perspective of functionalists states that the causes of discrimination are for reasons such as; social groups in past generations had been taught that the disabled were weak and incapable and therefore suggested that to tackle both sides, that they should be institutionalised. They believe that this would contribute to society as it would create jobs for those who would like to take care of the disabled -therefore helping society function.
Functionalism considers the disabled to be deviant and views them as if they don’t contribute too much to society positively and therefore would label them as dysfunctional. However the disabled feel as if they are not getting an opportunity or fair chance to contribute as they are seen as incompetent and are therefore treated unfairly.
This discrimination has a huge impact on every individual who goes through these negative experiences, it can affect them both short and long term. The individuals already have to cope with overcoming the specifics of their physical handicaps and also face the problem of social perceptions. This results in many problems within society, stopping otherwise qualified people from gaining employment due to these preconceptions that society holds.
It could also possibly lead to negative effects both physically and emotionally. For example, people with disabilities may not be given a chance to join in with activities due to others thinking that their disability prevents them from being able to do so.
Short term effects due to discrimination may include; individuals having low self-esteem, depression, suffer from stress and/or anger, fear rejection and overall feeling withdrawn from the rest of society.
Discrimination can also lead to many long term effects such as; Loss of motivation, restricted opportunities, limited access to services, long term depression and also increased behaviour problems.
Disability discrimination does not only affect the individual suffering, but also affects the families that surrounds this victim. They may also face judgement because they have a family member who is…