Prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage

Prejudice, discrimination and disadvantage


Forms of prejudice

Prejudice - 'prejudgement' (positive or negative), making ones mind up prior to being aware of full facts of the situation. (eg. gypsies) May be ignorance of the unknown, of people who are different.

Dicrimination - acting differently towards others based on their membership of a social group.May be based on prjudice or stereotyping. 

Racial prejudice - belief by majority groups that members of minority racial groups are different and inferior. For example, when the Germans blamed their unemployment on the Jews, who held many of the well-paid positions. It is easy to blame black people for unemployment or for parents to feel that theirchildren have less opportunitiy because teachers have to spend more time on youngsters with little basic English.

Racial discrimination - unequal treatment on the basis of race or ethnicity. This has been illegal in Britian since the 1960s - both direct (offensive speech) and indirect ('no blacks' sign).

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Bases of pejudice

Ableism - discrimination in favour of able-bodied people and against those that are disabled. (eg. inaccessable buildings)

Ageism - assumption that a person's age should determine their social statusand their roles in society (the most widespead discrimination in the workplace, in different forms, eg. making someone redundant based on them becoming too old for the job)

Islamophobia - demonisation, dislike or fear against islamic or muslim culture. Linked to rapid support for Islamic befiefs, in the UK. Islam is seen, such as violent and supportive of terrorism, increasing through 9/11 and London bombings.

Homophobia - irrational fear and hatred of homosexuas and homosexual activity (eg, bullying and verbal abususe towards young people by other youngsters in school, for being ghomosexual)

Sexism - Could refer to belief that one gender is superior to the other; hatred or distrust towards the opposite or same sex as a whole; and imposing gender stereotypes. The term is particularly refered to as discrimination against women. (eg. offensive language, different treatment and opportunities)

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The hierarchy of prejudice

The Nature of Prejudice (1945)

Atilocution - badmouthing, people who have prejudices, talk about them with like-minded friends. Often referred to as 'hate talk'. (eg. about appearance, such as weight.)

Once these verbal remarks become acceptable, they may lead to other damaging forms of behaviour. A person or group commiting a hate crime, phsical abuse (eg. violent assult, ****) or genocide must first hold negative views of a person, groupor community.

Avoidance - those belonging to the minority group are avoided, and therefore isolated by the majority group.(eg. never socialising with a particular minority group.)

Discrimination - minority group in denied opportunities and services. (eg. preventing them from getting jobs.)

Genocide - intention to eliminate particular political, cultural or religious groups (eg. attpt to wipe out Jews in secoond world war)

Institutional Racism - a form of racism that occurs within public bodies, in the policies, procedures, operations and culture (eg. police were charged for this)

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Disadvantage: how are life chances distributed?

In many people's view, inequality is ininevitable in a capitalist societ, where some use their talent and florish whilst others trail behind. Sources of wealth have changed, and there is greater social mobility, yet the gulf between rich and poor remains. This has clear impact on quality of life and opportunities available.  There has been a slight rise in poverty among families and a larger one among pensioners.

Education - There are gaps in achievement between ethnicity and class. Black students have fallen behind (hard to address, due to racism). Middle class students are more likely to get good grades and go on to further education. Qualifications greatly influence employment processes. Tuition fees - are said to favour the rich, as students of poorer families are in fear of debt. However, those from the poorest families a eligable to non-repayable burseries which has opened up opportunity and choice to take on further study.

Health - there is clear evidence that economic deprivation is key to poor health. Though infant mortality is at its lowest and life expectancy is rising, there are increasing rates of such as obesity and diabetes. Health inequalities, such as smoking, poor diet, and fundamental determants, such as poverty, education and housing are determined between such as class and georgraphy (eg. life expectancy is lower in North England and those in professional occupations have the longest life expection).

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Poverty in Britian

Poverty - defined within the UK as income below 50% of average income
Absolue poverty - dininition adopted by the UN is severe deprovation of basic
human needs (eg. health, shelter, safe drinking water) (not only income, but access to services) (very limited in UK due to welfare benefits since 1945)
Relative poverty - those who are deprived or feel poor by the standards of thie own time and society and cannot afford the lifestyle of the average person. However, they have basic needs. (eg. not affording designer clothes or laptops)

Experiences of such as crime, anti-social behaviour and misuse of drugs vary from town to town and community to community. (eg. Blackpool is attracting social problems attached to unemployment, such as drug abuse and alchoholism as well as poverty and deprivvation. Because it is a more pleasant place to be unemployed, by the seaside. One of the only places in the country where girls do worse in school.)

Urban clustering of poverty has increased, while wealthier households have concentrated in city outskirts. In some cities, haf the population is breadline poor, while such as the south east of England have become disproportionately wealthier.

Cycle of poverty - poverty recurs in family from generation to generation because they lack education, money and coping skills to break out of poverty.

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Views of poverty

Conservative secretary for social security - those labelled as 'poor' are simply 'less equal'. Concerned that there was a developing depndancy culture in the UK where too many people depending on welfare benefits

New Labour - argue that conservatives created widespear deprivation, by cutting social security benefits. Means-tested benefits can mean that families are better off not working. The itroduce measures, such as providing free nursery service for single parents so that they can return to work. They suggest such as a system of tax credits (some tax paid back to poor families) to componsate families for loss of benefits. They try to maintain social inclusion through focussing on such as access to service and decent housing.

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