Social Discrimination And Discrimination

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Discrimination refers to unjustifiable negative behaviour towards a group or its members where behaviour is adjudged to include actions towards, and judgments/ decisions about, group members. Correll et al. (2010) defines discrimination as “behaviour directed towards category members that is consequential for their outcomes and that is directed towards them not because of any particular deservingness or reciprocity, but simply because they happen to be members of that category.” The term “discriminate” derived from the Latin word “discrimire” which means “to distinguish”. Social psychologists try to distinguish discrimination from stereotypes and prejudices. Stereotypes are strong beliefs about a group and its personal attributes. Prejudice is an unnecessary and exaggerated negative attitude towards a group of people.

A central attribute of the process of discrimination is that the perpetrators view their victims as deserving of the negativity. However, the victims feel that they do not deserve ill behaviour from the other group or their perpetrators. It may be an outcome of the discrepancies between the so called superior and inferior groups. According to Heath and MacMohan (1997), “discrimination ranges from unequal treatment that minority group members receive during the application process, and over the course of their education and socialisation, which can have grave consequences for the existence of ‘bridging’ social networks, ‘spatial mismatch’
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