(noun) The unequal treatment of an individual or group on the basis of their statuses (e.g., age, beliefs, ethnicity, sex) by limiting access to social resources (e.g., education, housing, jobs, legal rights, loans, or political power).
Audio Pronunciation: (dis·crim·i·na·tion)
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- Plural: discriminations
- Discrimination occurs on the individual and institutional level.
- Discrimination is often divided into de facto discrimination and de jure discrimination. De facto (Latin for “concerning fact”) discrimination describes covert social practices while de jure (Latin for “concerning law” or “in law”) discrimination describes overt discrimination such as women not being allowed to vote or minorities not serving on juries.
- A type of ethnocentrism.
- Also called:
- A (noun) discriminator (verb) discriminates (adverb) discriminatorally in a (adjective) discriminational or (adjective) discriminatory or (adjective) discriminative manner.
- “[D]iscrimination creates a terrible irony: the very discrimination that invalidates the American Dream for man Americans creates conditions that seem to validate it for others, enabling them to embrace it so fervently. By excluding entire categories of people from equal access to opportunity, discrimination has reduced reduced competition and increased the chances to get ahead of others, who often mistakenly conclude that their own success is based exclusively on the own individual ‘merit'” (McNamee and Miller 2013:18).
- “In addition to prejudices, the dominant group also applies various actions against minority ethnic groups, including avoidance, denial, threat, or physical attack. At different times, all of these forms of coercion may be used, depending on how threatening the minority group is perceived to be. These actions are collectively called discrimination” (Marger 1985:45).
- Word origin of “discrimination” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
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How to Cite the Definition of Discrimination
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “discrimination.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 19, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/discrimination/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
discrimination. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/discrimination/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “discrimination.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 19, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/discrimination/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“discrimination.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 19 May. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/discrimination/>.