Racism and Discrimination in Society
Issues in Behavioral Science
January 20, 2015
In order to understand how racism and discrimination affects our society, we must first understand the actual meaning of racism and discrimination. Racism accounts for differences in human character. A racist believes certain races are better, or more superior, to others (Yahoo Dictionary n.d). In discrimination, a person looks upon another person based on their class, race, and/or gender, other than their individual worth. Discrimination can also be referred to prejudice or partiality (Yahoo Dictionary n.d).
Racism and discrimination effect the United States in a number of ways. First of ...view middle of the document...
All of these can have a profound effect on the way a person succeeds in their educational pursuits and how it affects them as adults in society (Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission 2015).
Negative perception of one’s ethnic background can lead to depression, anxiety, and a lack of self-confidence, just to name a few. This can lead to people not reaching their fullest potential as a contributing member of society. Learned behavior of racism and discrimination will lead people to negatively stereotype certain groups of people. The victims of this discrimination and racism suffer harsher consequences of their actions because of the stereotype (Maryland Association of School Psychologists 2012). These harsher consequences can be anything from not getting a pay raise or promotion, to having a longer prison sentence for crimes committed. Tension and racial divide can be seen and heard daily on TV and internet because of racial and discriminatory behavior.
The Conflict Perspective, which can be based of some writings of Karl Marx, can clearly be seen in racism and discrimination. Marx’s writings on class struggles, focused on the ever-changing, conflicted and negative nature of society. Conflict theorists are constantly challenging the status quo of society. They encourage social change. They believe the rich and powerful try to control and force their ideals on the poor and weak. Up until the 1960’s, the conflict perspective did not gain much interest. Most interest was centered on the functionalism theory. The conflict perspective took off during the civil rights era. Today, conflict theorists see clashes between race, gender, religion, social class, and sexual orientation. They believe each group has a conflicting values and agendas. These conflicting values and agendas are what leads to the ever changing society we live in (Three Major...