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Discrimination. Unequal or Unfair Treatment of Individuals Essay

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2022

Discrimination refers to unequal or unfair treatment of individuals based on specific characteristics. Roger Staubach argues that discrimination is a disease because it eventually spreads to other individuals as they see it occurring once it begins. Discrimination is evident in the novella of Mice and Men through various characters. The story is written in Soledad, California, around the period of the Great Depression. Lennie Smalls and George Milton, who are characters in the story, look for a job at a ranch after they had issues with their previous job. On getting their new job, Lennie becomes attracted to Curley’s wife, the boss’s daughter-in-law. Lennie also befriends the ”stable buch”, an African American man who lives alone in a storehouse located at the ranch. Discrimination starts with one individual, Candy, an aged man who is tasked with cleaning the bunkhouses (Curtis, 20). As Candy shows Lennie and George around, he hints at them about how Crooks is discriminated against because of his race.

The theme of discrimination is strong throughout the novel, Watsons goes to Birmingham 1963″ since it is set during the civil rights movement during the 1960’s era. The novel shows how Kenny, a young boy, is traumatized upon witnessing the bombing of the 16th Baptist church in Birmingham. Initially, the young boy does not recognize how racism is severe in his grandmother’s hometown when his family first travels there to keep Byron, his older brother, out of trouble. Kenny realizes that numerous Americans are still against the ideology of racial integration despite the push for equality.

The story also evidences that there is discrimination beyond race in the region. Children discriminate against Rufus and Cody Fry at the elementary school because they come from low-income families and have strong southern accents. The kids also discriminate against Kenny because of his remarkable ability to read. Wilona discriminates against Mr. Robert because he is not her father (Curtis, 40). Characters make judgments depending on the people’s superficial characteristics refused to offer services to blacks. Schools, on the other hand, were for whites or blacks and not both. Parents of white children did not allow them to interact or play with black children.

Discrimination, just like a disease, can be passed from one person to another quickly. In most cases, the recipients do not even recognize that they have been infected with discrimination. Discrimination, similar to a disease, can attack and kill by affecting a victim’s day-to-day life. Discrimination comprises six key elements beginning with identifying the agent, which causes discrimination; the reservoir is where the agent of discrimination grows and develops. The third element is the portal of exit, in which the agent of discrimination leaves the reservoir. The fourth element is the mode of transmission, which refers to how discrimination spreads. The fifth element is how discrimination affects an individual, and the last element is the chain of infection which identifies the characteristics of individuals that make them susceptible to discrimination.

In the case of discrimination, the agent could be words or images used when addressing people of a particular race. Discrimination spreads directly or indirectly, implying that it can spread from one person to another or through social and traditional media. The portal of 4entry may be through multiple sources such as verbal and visual ways. The individual experiences of discrimination can vary depending on race, gender, social categories, and sexual orientation, among other factors. The experiences of discrimination are associated with stress and poor mental health. The adverse effects of discrimination occur due to several processes and repeated experiences that lead to depressive symptoms and behavior changes (Curtis, 45). Increased exposure to racial and ethnic discrimination is traumatic and stressful and may result in abnormal anxiety. Discrimination is a fundamental problem in the current world. Discriminatory norms and practices are extensive and continue to promote social exclusion in the contemporary world.

Discrimination is a social determinant of health and is a form of stressor experienced by communities of color and minorities in different parts of the world. It also determines the access of the communities to other significant social determinants of health. The direct and indirect effects of discrimination on individuals’ health are harmful to the targets, their loved ones, and society. Currently, people are exploiting the unique features of the internet to spread racial hate and divisive ideas regarding certain groups of people. Organized racist groups take advantage of online communication to achieve their set goals. Groups communicate their agenda through websites and forums to advocate characteristic intergroup conflict and reframe racism as a natural response to whites’ oppression. Cyber-racism challenges contemporary multicultural societies’ social unity by creating division, mistrust, and conflict between different groups.

Structural discrimination affects individuals and communities negatively. Structural discrimination in modern society occurs in residential segregation, injustices in access to quality education, and taxation rate. For instance, in the United States, residential segregation has resulted in significant differences in health status been whites and people of color. This is because it determines the amount of social and economic resources allocated for families and communities. Further, most school districts are expected to locally generate their income through taxes hence implying minimal funds are distributed to the schools. Therefore, people of color are forced to enroll their children in low-quality schools with minimal health resources, low support from teachers, and more likely to have poor physical and mental health.

Further, discrimination has led to a massive disparity in implementing policies and measures concerning criminal justice. Some of these disparities include rates at which minorities are arrested in the United States, rate of conviction, and imprisonment for offenses. State and federal policies such as life without conditional release and obligatory minimum sentences have largely influenced racial inequalities. Such federal policies have adverse impacts on families, participation in political matters, employment, and health status.

Discrimination is a trauma that hurts individuals and communities deeply. Stressful childhood experiences such as witnessing church bombing and being discriminated against because of skin color negatively impact physical, emotional, and social health throughout their lives. Childhood exposure to various forms of discrimination leads to mental health conditions such as diabetes, abuse of drugs, PTSD, and fractures. The growth of adults and children is mainly contingent on social communication and support. Since adolescence involves shaping essential features of identity, different influences and experiences affect the process. Such forces can either build resilience and other strengths or lead to tension and high toxic levels.

In the contemporary world, acts of prejudice are on the increase. The significant shift from globalization to nationalism has resulted in a sharp increase of radical political parties and movements. Minorities and people of color have established movements to help them counter racism and deal with trauma impacts due to their experiences. Many people have been traumatized by long durations of pain as the victims of forced segregation, migration, and marginalization.

Despite the various constitutional and legal measures set to protect the rights of minorities in different parts of the world, the private opinions and practices of many whites have remained racist. This tendency has hugely persisted in the current century. Leaders should be at the forefront to help people understand how individualized and institutionalized discrimination affects society’s victims. People should be allowed to access good healthcare, education and live in their choices regardless of their characteristics. Discrimination does not affect the victims alone and places a burden on their families since they have to help their loved ones overcome its effects when they do not have enough resources. Discrimination causes hatred and distrust in society.

All forms of discrimination impact a significant toll on the physical and emotional wellbeing of communities and individuals. Discrimination is a daunting social determinant of principal inequalities that inexplicably affects radicalized communities in the world. Therefore, social institutions such as courts, schools, and higher learning institutions should be strengthened to guarantee social justice. The health system should deliver social justice by ensuring proper access to quality healthcare and preventive measures regardless of gender, race, religion, or sex. Every human being should have the capacity to live a worthwhile life. Therefore, it’s the role of the government to ensure that discrimination is discouraged in society to ensure equitable distribution of resources to all communities and promote good relations among all groups regardless of race, origin, or gender, among other factors.

Work Cited

Curtis, C., 2000. The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Laurel Leaf, 1963.

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