Essay on Discrimination: Effects of Discrimination

During thousands years, every civilization on the planet had elements of discrimination. Obviously, modern society is no exception. Every time when European colonizers occupied somebody’s land, it led to formation of isolated social groups and peoples. Most extreme types of discrimination often developed into such horrible things as a genocide or slavery. In some countries, discrimination wasn’t enacted at the legislative level, while in other countries discrimination was legislated. This phenomenon was called Apartheid. Along with these extreme forms of discrimination, human civilization also invented other, relatively soft forms, which are often reflected in immigration laws, as well as in disenfranchisement. Often we can observe discrimination in hospitals and schools; discrimination is often presented in media and public opinions. Some ethnic groups suffer from discrimination more often, throughout the whole world’s history. Such groups are the Jews, and the Roma (also known as Gypsies).

The meaning of discrimination is often related to another term, which is “disturbing”. In the Oxford Dictionary, such a term is explained as anxiety, and distress, as well as other bad mental states caused by unfairness and irritation. Therefore, such a state is often caused by various types of discrimination, since it is nothing but an unfair treatment of somebody who belongs to a particular race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. Usually the reason for such an unfair treatment is prejudice. Most people who suffer from discrimination feel frustration, and anger. It may often cause anger addressed to people who caused such an unpleasant emotional state. However, there are many consequences of discrimination for both victims and victimizers, so in this essay, we decided to consider common effects of discrimination.

First of all, discrimination is not a new problem. Almost all human societies throughout world’s history suffered from different forms of discrimination. Now this issue is actively discussed, since in every country, there is some type of discrimination, which certain groups of people suffer from. Every kind of discrimination is based on opinion that certain groups of people don’t have equal rights and opportunities with others. These groups may be determined by race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. Sometimes people confuse discrimination with other social problems, such as stereotypes, or prejudice. As long as human society exists, people were struggling with these things, and until now, there are a lot of people and even governments, who support discrimination. First of all, such social tendencies are based on stereotypes – rigid representations of a certain race or ethnic group. Usually people don’t try to understand whether or not this representation is true. In turn, stereotypes form prejudice. Prejudice is our judgment of a person based on stereotypes about his or her race, gender, and so on. Generally, these two things form a strong basis for discrimination. The only particular feature of discrimination is that it also includes unfair treatment. Within discrimination, people support certain actions against victims of prejudices and stereotypes. Generally, attitude forms a certain type of prejudice, and actions form discrimination.

A lot of people note that discrimination grows and expands. Given latest right-wing political tendencies all over the world, discrimination develops. Even in 2017, people often receive hate messages, get ridiculed, or suffer from the direct violence just because they are somewhat different from the majority. Every time we don’t really know somebody, and yet give him or her names, or make certain conclusions based on stereotypes, we support discrimination.

Causes and Effects of Discrimination

There are relatively more familiar types of discrimination, such as discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, disability or religion. These all are forms of direct discrimination. Another form of direct discrimination is sexual harassment. All these types of discrimination are direct actions against certain groups of people, based on prejudices or stereotypes. At the same time, there is also indirect discrimination, which is usually discussed not so wide and actively. Indirect discrimination includes such situations, where neutral positions or actions cause effects of discrimination. Along with these two major types of discrimination, we must mention institutional discrimination, which involves discriminatory practices, laws, and procedures within a certain company, social institution, or even country. Here we are talking about procedures that cause discriminatory consequences. A striking example of institutional discrimination is the South African Apartheid.

Discrimination rarely causes a certain single effect. Usually effects of discrimination multiply and each effect leads to several new consequences. Discrimination is often related to such thing as social distance. It’s always easier for people to judge those who are not related to their social group. The more far some group of people stands from the majority, the easier for the majority is to discriminate them.

Talking about causes of discrimination, we must highlight one thing that often forms discriminatory behavior among adults. Discrimination can be learned. Most people who support discrimination were raised by parents who support the same ideas. Teachers also may form discriminatory behavior of their students. Media often support discriminatory processes, since every time we talk about discrimination without doing anything to stop it, we also give it a certain level of social legitimacy. Since contact between different groups doesn’t help to fight discrimination, modern society often pays attention to social institutions, and education, in particular. Of course, implementing multicultural principles in education, we support diversity, and weaken discrimination. At the same time, immigration policies, special attention to civil rights, as well as quote hiring, form a strong basis against discrimination. Another important thing is relations between individuals, since true love and friendship between people from different groups is the best way to kill discrimination at the very beginning.

There are different political, psychological, social, and economic effects of discrimination. Victims of discrimination lose their self-confidence, they feel like outsiders. Such effects often become stronger due to political and economic discrimination. Inequality, ignorance and prejudices cause a lot of negative effects on many levels. Not only affects discrimination peace within a particular country, but also a world peace as well. This is a reason why many international organizations provide new instruments and laws, in order to stop discrimination worldwide. However, despite the fact that such organizations introduce new incentives, these incentives rarely are something more than just papers and agreements. Many countries ignore international instances, or accept such incentives only on paper.

We can see effects that discrimination causes on religion, race, and other specific groups of people. In USA, race discrimination still remains a hot issue, due to a number of illegal actions of police against black people. Populistic rhetoric of conservative politicians pushes racists to express their hate in public, promoting racism. There is also discrimination of the aborigines in Australia, since their culture is quite different from European culture. White majority don’t understand native people of Australia, creating distance between social groups. Another common type of discrimination is religious discrimination. In USA, this issue became a common topic for discussions after the introduction of Trump’s so-called Muslim ban. Islamic terrorists formed a common image of Muslims as terrorists and danger for civilized world. It is a stereotype which can lead to discriminatory immigration policy. Religious discrimination is dangerous to the world’s peace, since every religion has a lot of believers, so every time when rights of this group are violated somewhere on the planet, it may cause large-scale conflicts and wars.

According to studies, discrimination causes a direct effect on victim’s behavior. Moreover, different types of discrimination have a direct impact on a particular group, and an additional effect on other groups. For example, racial discrimination affects people suffered from ethnic discrimination, leading to depression and anxiety.

It takes a lot of time for victims of discrimination to cope with consequences. All victims need to fight against their fear, depression, and low self-esteem, searching for ways to survive within a society. Every victim faces the need to develop his or her own strategy of behavior. Some victims even try to ignore discrimination, and deny it. They claim that a certain incident was caused by other reasons, or they try to justify such discrimination, searching for the reason in their own behavior, look, words, etc. Another common strategy of victims is avoidance. People try to avoid or ignore situations that can cause discriminatory incidents with the highest probability. Obviously, such a practice cannot decrease the level of discrimination, since these people intentionally increase distance between them and majority, thus making it harder to integrate discriminated groups in the society. Obviously, world peace is impossible within such conditions. Discrimination divides and dissolves the society, creating an auspicious environment for wars.

Conclusion

Discrimination is a biggest challenge for modern societies. First of all, discrimination represents a threat to democracy, since latter is based on principles of equality. Discrimination is widely supported in societies based on strict hierarchy. Usually such societies build hierarchies based on religion, gender, or origin. Most of such societies support discrimination and promote it. In turn, Democracy represents efforts to build equal society, where equality is a basis of human rights. Of course, any kinds of discrimination are threats for such an idea.

Not only is discrimination a threat to the civilized society, but for its direct victims as well. Discrimination directly violates rights of a person, leading to a number of bad consequences. Such consequences may vary depending on the type of violence against this victim, alienation, psychological problems, exclusion, and so on.

First of all, discrimination is selfish. Our point is that discrimination is wrong, doesn’t matter which kind of discrimination it is. Discrimination is everywhere, in every country, and in every part of our everyday lives. There are many different causes of discrimination, and one of the most common causes is parents that always teach their kids to think the way they do. Parents who support racism, sexism, homophobia, raise their children and spread these dangerous diseases. First of all, parents shouldn’t teach their children hate, since hate always produces only more hate, which leads to discriminatory actions, conflicts, and wars. We already mentioned a lot of problems caused by discrimination. The only way to stop discrimination is to implement proper laws and protect human rights at the government level. In turn, the society must support victims of discrimination, helping them to cope with consequences, as well as to integrate in the society.

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