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DISCRIMINATION. CHAPTER 3. Understanding Discrimination. Discrimination The denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of prejudice or for other arbitrary reasons Two patterns of deprivation, relative and absolute Relative Deprivation

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understanding discrimination
Understanding Discrimination
  • Discrimination
    • The denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups because of prejudice or for other arbitrary reasons
  • Two patterns of deprivation, relative and absolute
    • Relative Deprivation
      • The conscious experience of a negative discrepancy between legitimate expectations and present actualities
    • Absolute Deprivation
      • Implies a fixed standard based on a minimum level of subsistence below which families should not be expected to exist
institutional discrimination
Institutional Discrimination
  • The denial of opportunities and equal rights to individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of a society
    • Institutional forms of discrimination are committed collectively against a group
    • May be unconscious - in that it is not a function of awareness of discrimination
examples of institutional discrimination
Examples of Institutional Discrimination
  • Standards for assessing credit risks do not work for Hispanics and African Americans
  • IQ testing favors middle-class children
  • The entire criminal justice system, from the patrol officer to the judge and jury, is dominated by Whites who find it difficult to understand life in poverty areas
  • Hiring practices often require several years of experience at jobs only recently opened to members of subordinate groups
  • Many jobs automatically eliminate a person with felony records or past drug offenses, which disproportionately reduces employment opportunities for people of color
low wage labor
Low-Wage Labor
  • Informal Economy (Irregular/Underground Economy)
    • Consists of transfers of money, goods, or services that are not reported to the government
    • The regular labor market operates according to the principles of the conventional labor market
    • Irregular economy - operates outside the boundaries of the regular economy as it relates to job stability, wages, working conditions or benefits
Dual Labor Market Model
    • According to this model, minorities have been relegated to the informal economy
    • Informal economy offers few safeguards against fraud or malpractice
    • Few fringe benefits such as stability, wages, health insurance, and pension
    • Criticized for promoting unfair and dangerous working conditions
    • Workers are ill prepared to enter the regular economy permanently
informal economy and discrimination
Informal Economy and Discrimination
  • Subordinate groups have often been used as an elastic part of the labor force and relegated to the informal economy
  • Because of past discrimination, workers are unable to secure traditional employment
  • Many workers driven into such jobs as better-paying jobs move far away or as globalization creates more international trade
discrimination today
Discrimination Today
  • Discrimination is widespread in the U.S.
  • Sometimes results from prejudices held by individuals, but more significantly, is found in institutional discrimination and the presence of the informal economy
  • Quantifying discrimination is problematic
    • 1. Identifying the different treatment of minorities
    • 2. Determining the cost of discrimination
  • Distribution of income as a measure of discrimination
Double Jeopardy
    • Refers to the combination of two subordinate statuses, defined as experienced by women of color
    • Disparity in income between Black women and White men has remained unchanged for over fifty years
      • Direct discrimination in hiring
      • Promotion
      • Past discrimination
eliminating discrimination
Eliminating Discrimination
  • Two major sources for the elimination of discrimination:
    • Voluntary associations
    • Governmental agencies and policies
      • Roosevelt’s 1943 and the Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC)
      • Supreme court decision - 1954 Brown v. Board of Education
  • State’s Rights
    • Each state is sovereign in most of its affairs and has the right to order them without interference from the federal government
Since 1964, several acts and amendments have been made to the original Civil Rights Act to cover the many areas of discrimination left untouched
    • Criminal Justice and Housing
  • Redlining
    • The pattern of discrimination against people trying to buy homes in minority and racially changing neighborhoods
    • Applied to areas other than housing
wealth inequality discrimination s legacy
Wealth Inequality: Discrimination’s Legacy
  • Past discrimination carries into the present and future
    • No inherited wealth is element of the past
    • Less opportunity of Blacks to accumulate assets
  • Income
    • Salaries and wages
  • Wealth
    • Encompasses all a person’s assets, land, stocks, and other types of property
environmental justice
Environmental Justice
  • Refers to the efforts to ensure that hazardous substances are controlled so that all communities receive protection regardless of race or socioeconomic circumstance
  • Executive order (1994)
    • Requires all federal agencies to ensure that low-income and minority communities have access to better information about their environment and have an opportunity in shaping government policies that affect their community’s health
Issues of environmental justice not limited to metropolitan areas
    • Abuse of Native American reservation land
    • Tribal lands regarded as dumping grounds for toxic waste that go to the highest bidder
  • Controversy within the scientific community over potential hazards
    • Complexity of the issues in terms of social class and race are apparent
affirmative action
Affirmative Action
  • The positive effort to recruit subordinate-group members, including women, for jobs, promotions, and educational opportunities
    • Today, has become a catchall term for racial preference programs and goals
    • Lightning rod for opposition to any programs that suggest special consideration of women and racial minorities
affirmative action explained
Affirmative Action Explained
  • Affirmative Action has been viewed as an important tool for reducing institutional discrimination
  • Federal measures aimed at procedures that deny equal opportunities, even if not intended to be overtly discriminatory
  • Lack of minority-group or female employees may in itself represent unlawful exclusion
examples of affirmative action and institutional discrimination
Examples of Affirmative Action and Institutional Discrimination
  • Height and weight requirements that are unnecessarily geared to the physical proportions of White males
  • Seniority rules, when applied to jobs historically held only by white males
  • Nepotism-based membership policies
  • Restrictive employment leave policies
  • Rules requiring only English be spoken at the workplace
  • Standardized academic tests or criteria
  • Preferences shown by law and medical schools
  • Credit policies of banks and lending institutions
reverse discrimination
Reverse Discrimination
  • An emotional term because it conjures up the notion that somehow women and minorities will subject White men in the U.S. to the same treatment received by minorities during the last three centuries
  • Supporters of affirmative action
    • As long as businesses rely on informal social networks, personal recommendations, and family ties, White men will have a distinct advantage built on generations of being in positions of power
the glass ceiling
The Glass Ceiling
  • Refers to the barrier that blocks the promotion of a qualified worker because of gender or minority membership
  • Additionally, they face glass walls that block lateral moves to areas from which executives are promoted
    • Barriers contribute to women not moving into ultimate decision-making positions in the nation’s corporate giants
Determinants of the Glass Ceiling
    • Lack of management commitment to establishing system, policies, and practices for achieving workplace diversity and upward mobility
    • Pay inequities for work of equal or comparable value
    • Sex, race, and ethnic-based stereotyping and harassment
    • Unfair recruitment practices
    • Lack of family-friendly workplace policies
    • “Parent-track” policies
    • Limited opportunities for advancement to decision-making positions
Glass Escalator
    • Refers to the male advantage experienced in occupations dominated by women
    • Men who chose to enter female-dominated occupations are often rewarded with promotions and positions of responsibility coveted by their fellow female workers
What employment practices, that you can think of, demonstrate the informal economy and dual labor market?
Based on the numbers provided in Table 3.1, how can the wide gap between Black and Asian income statistics be explained?
How can Affirmative Action be better utilized so that it protects minority groups from discrimination while protecting the rights of deserving Whites in gaining upward mobility?