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It’s Not All Black and White Diversity and Discrimination

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It’s Not All Black and White Diversity and Discrimination. Presented By: Catie Wilson Assistant Residence Director Plymouth State University March 2007. Diversity: A Definition. The state of fact or being diverse; difference; unlikeness. Variety; Multiformity. A point of difference.

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It’s Not All Black and White

Diversity and Discrimination

Presented By:

Catie Wilson

Assistant Residence Director

Plymouth State University

March 2007


Diversity: A Definition

  • The state of fact or being diverse; difference; unlikeness.
  • Variety; Multiformity.
  • A point of difference.

Discrimination: A Definition

The word discrimination comes from the Latin "discriminare", which means to "distinguish between". However, discrimination, as used in this article, is more than distinction or differentiation; it is action based on prejudice resulting in unfair treatment of people. To discriminate socially is to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit. Examples of social discrimination include racial, religious, sexual, weight, disability, ethnic, height-related, employment discrimination and age-related discrimination.

Distinctions between people which are based just on individual merit (such as personal achievement, skill or ability) are generally not considered socially discriminatory. Consequently, prohibitions against such discrimination generally will not prevent a government from acting in a legitimate and justifiable way based upon the merit of an individual person.


Race and Racism

“Racism has always been both an instrument of discrimination and a tool of exploitation. But it manifests itself as a cultural phenomenon, susceptible to cultural solutions, such as multicultural education and the promotion of ethnic identities.

Tackling the problem of cultural inequality, however, does not by itself redress the problem of economic inequality. Racism is conditioned by economic imperatives, but negotiated through culture: religion, literature, art, science and the media.

... Once, they demonised the blacks to justify slavery. Then they demonised the “coloureds” to justify colonialism. Today, they demonise asylum seekers to justify the ways of globalism. And, in the age of the media, of spin, demonisation sets out the parameters of popular culture within which such exclusion finds its own rationale — usually under the guise of xenophobia, the fear of strangers.”

— A. Sivanandan, Poverty is the new black, The Guardian, August 17, 2001


Gender and Sexism

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females and makes begins when the doctor says, "It's a girl." or “It’s a boy.”

~Shirley Chisholm


Weight and Weight Prejudice

"...Weight prejudice is a true form of bigotry in every sense of the word. Like racism, it is based on visible cues; i.e. that fat person is discriminated against primarily because of the way he/she looks. Like anti-Semitism, it defines an entire group of people numbering in the millions within a narrow range of negative characteristics and behaviors. Like sexism, it elevates the status of one group of people at the expense of another. And like homophobia, it serves as a vehicle of projection for the bigot's own anxieties, frustrations, and resentments, in effect using the hated outsider as a repository for the bigot's emotional debris and refuse..." [excerpt from W. Charisse Goodman, author of The Invisible Woman]


Age and Ageism

“It's just something that I like to do, and I also don't buy into the ageism theory.” ~ Joan Collins


Disability and Ableism

Ableism is a term used to describe discrimination against people with disabilities in favour of people who are not disabled.


Religion and Religion Discrimination

Religious discrimination is valuing a person or group lower because of their religion, or treating someone differently because of what they do or don't believe. While many religious and secular authorities nowadays tend to stress that religion is something personal, the highly social nature of most religions makes conflicts between religious groups, and thus discrimination, still very probable.


Sexuality and Heterosexism

The roots of homophobia are fear. Fear and more fear. ~George Weinberg


Ethnicity and Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism is the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one's own culture.


Social Class and Classism

Classism is any form of prejudice or oppression against people as a result of their actual or perceived social class (especially in the form of lower or higher socioeconomic status) within a class based society.


Adults and Adultism

Adultism is a predisposition towards adults, which some see as biased against children, youth, and all young people who aren't addressed or viewed as adults.