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This is the fourth and final part of a four-part series. See the bottom of this article to link to prior parts.
Stereotype threat is a complex psychological phenomenon that occurs mostly to people invested in their image as a member of a stereotyped group.
Research shows that its effect is greater on people that care about doing well. They also must be put into a situation where their skills or abilities might be in question, either in school as in an examination or at work as a job assignment.
Emotional trauma and mental health effects from discrimination and stereotyping result in the most significant harm to an individual. There are other damages, such as loss of job or promotional opportunities, loss of pay for days not worked, and damage to reputation.
The people that discriminate or stereotype usually choose scapegoats on whom to take out their frustration and aggression. They choose those who are seen as weaker or inferior to themselves.
It is very important to know that parents that practice discrimination can pass it on to their children in a number of ways. In fact, children learn to discriminate in the same way they absorb a new language, learn to dress in a certain way, or to use a toy. Early child and family experiences shape peoples’ attitudes and behaviors.
Racial discrimination is carried out individually or structurally with equally adverse consequences. When perpetuated structurally and institutionally, racism can diminish a group’s collective capacity to promote the advancement and progress of its members.
If we take the effects of racism against the African American population as an example, it has been noticed that racism can lead to an unexplained prevalence of hypertension among them. It has also been alleged that there is a link between the prevalence of hypertension and racial discrimination at work and with the media portraying racism and continuous racial discrimination.
Furthermore, depression and substance abuse may result, in addition to other somatic health problems. Anger, depression, and anxiety are the three most common problems presented by African-Americans in psychotherapy (National Institute of Mental Health).
Harm from racial discrimination results from both first-hand and personal experiences; witnessing racism is as stressful as being subjected to it.
The victims of discrimination exhibit a wide range of responses as discussed, from emotional devastation to physical illness and other symptoms, to militancy and protest, to the exaggeration or complete denial of the whole experience.
Not applying diversity may result in economic costs, such as lower local revenues due to decreased local expenditures by residents, etc.
So if you don’t want your workplace to be a hostile environment or even become the next murder scene, practice diversity, and train your managers and employees to eliminate discrimination, prejudice and stereotype.
Diversity starts at home,
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.