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Discrimination in America Essay Sample

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Discrimination in America Essay Sample

Write a 100- to 200-word response to each of the following questions. Provide citations for all the sources you use. • 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, 2012, pg 61). Discrimination is different from prejudice and stereotyping because rather than just holding ill feelings, thoughts or beliefs towards a group, action is taken based on that particular prejudice or stereotype. Prejudice refers to negative judgments and views towards an entire group of people, and is based on thoughts and feelings alone. Stereotypes are unrealistic, exaggerated, and indefinite conclusions about all people involved in a group without regard to the differences people have and their individualities they have to offer. Discrimination is the act of denying equal rights and opportunities based on prejudices and other excuses of stereotyping.

Prejudice and stereotyping are based on judgments and conclusions, whereas discrimination is an action taken by someone who holds such judgments and conclusions towards a group of people. Therefore, discrimination is different from both prejudice and stereotyping because it is a tangible act being demonstrated toward a group rather than just holding thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and conclusions towards a group of people. • What are the causes of discrimination? Discrimination can be caused by many reasons; through conformity of a group of peers, it can be a learned behavior passed down through the generations, or it can be based on social class. Through my personal experiences when I was in high school, there were two different groups of kids that I choose to hang out with. One of those groups choose to make fun of the other group, and over time I noticed on kid from one group joined the bulling group as to avoid being made fun of by being the one who was making fun. It was odd to see how he conformed to the acts of the others, and turned on his friends. There was a lot of peer pressure involved with the situation.

Discrimination can be passed down through the generations, for example white supremacists teach their children why it is important to do so. Position of social class can also be a cause of discrimination, for some people of wealth view themselves and their lifestyles as superior to others who are poor, and struggle. • How is discrimination faced by one identity group (race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability) the same as discrimination faced by another? How are they different? Discrimination faced by one identity group is the same as discrimination faced by another group are through housing, job seeking, and education. Two different groups can be discriminated against differently through hate crimes.

Two different groups can be denied equal rights through the housing market, where real estate agents can steer minority groups into areas populated with similar minorities living in the area. Discrimination in job seeking can determine if a candidate of one of these groups will receive a call back from a potential employer or not. For example; in 2003, Sociologist Devah Pager conducted an experiment by sending our 4 males for apply for jobs. Two men were white, two men were black, and one of each group was to include on their applications a criminal background suggesting jail time of a felony charge. Both white men received more call backs than the black men by a landslide. However, two different groups can be discriminated against differently by hate crimes. For example, some people choose to discriminate through violence towards gay people, and some people choose to discriminate against black people by denying equal rights.


• Racial and Ethnic Groups, Thirteenth edition, by Richard T. Schaefer. Published by Merrill Prentice Hall 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc.

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