First published on Technorati: http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/diversity-harmful-effects-of-discrimination-part2
This is part two of the harmful effects of discrimination article. You can find part one here.
Although the weight of evidence supports the argument that injuries result from discrimination, research has sometimes yielded conflicting and occasionally inconsistent results, particularly when dealing with the victims’ levels of self-esteem, their behavioral and perceptual reactions or their affective responses to discriminatory experiences. That is why it is important to identify the key variables (moderators) influencing the relationship between discrimination acts and responses.
- Racism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s races over all others and thereby the right to dominance
- Sexism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s sex and thereby the right to dominance
- Heterosexism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s patterns of loving and thereby the right to dominance
- Discrimination is an insidious and complex human phenomenon that has evolved along with humans to extend beyond the confines of race and to permeate other facets of life.
Discrimination is not only targeted towards minorities but can change gears. In an area where those that are usually in a minority are in a majority, they can discriminate against the traditional majorities. For example: in an environment predominantly Hispanic or African American, Caucasians can be discriminated against, or in a predominantly female workplace there might be discrimination against males.
The intensity of the psychological, emotional and physical injury by from the disregard, hurt, shame and humiliation often born as a result of being a target of discrimination can be deep. But it may be impossible to assess the extent of the social and human cost resulting from the suffering caused by discrimination.
It is also important to mention that individuals sometimes falsely interpret an act as “discriminatory” when, in reality, the act is not. The roots of these wrong perceptions could lie in multiple psychological factors such as misguided ethnic identity, depression, labeling their group for a long period of time, slurs or jokes that cause deep-seated resentment.
The psychological effects of these symptoms are a sad and gloomy outlook on life in general and an aggravated sense of injustice. The individuals that suffer from discrimination for a long time can misinterpret actions and read between lines that don’t exist, as they always expect the worse.
You can read part 3 here.
Diversity starts at home,
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.