The 16 types of discrimination

Discrimination consists of treating a person, group or institution in a different and harmful way. This may be due to different reasons: race, sex, gender, ideas, place of origin,  physical appearance, etc. There are many types of discrimination.

Discrimination is not something new since humanity has always discriminated against other individuals because of their resources, origins or intelligence, and even entire peoples because of their different ideas regarding religion or politics.

In this, you can find relevant information regarding the different kinds of discrimination that exist.

Causes and consequences of discrimination

Discrimination frequently occurs in all societies. Although public opinion criticizes some forms of discrimination such as racism or machismo, it barely flinches in the face of discriminatory events that can occur on a day-to-day basis, such as those suffering, for example, from obese people.

Discrimination can be an individual or collective phenomenon and can have different causes. Some of them are:

The economic or social situation can be the cause of discriminatory behavior, either due to a bad economic situation or an environment that favors this type of behavior.

Ideology is one of the main causes of carrying out discriminatory behavior towards certain human groups.

Fear can cause entire populations to mobilize in a discriminatory way against some people.

The submissive and imitative personality can cause some people not to have sufficient critical capacity and simply to be carried away by others.

The influence of the group also makes many people see discriminatory behaviors as normal.

Necessity or interest can cause discriminatory behavior towards individuals or groups considered as inferior.

Discrimination causes the person who is a victim to suffer a series of consequences.

On a psychological level, the person may experience anxiety, guilt, depression, and feelings of loneliness. But those who are discriminated against can also suffer other problems, such as difficulties in getting a job, school dropout and even death.

Types of discrimination

The causes can be varied and the consequences devastating. However, there are different types of discrimination that we must understand. They are the following.

1. Individual discriminationtypes of discrimination

Individual discrimination is that which one individual performs to another. That is, it is when a person deals differently and negatively with another person, without there being a differentiated contextual reason.

2. Institutional discriminationtypes of discrimination

This type of discrimination is characterized because it is the public or private institutions that carry out some type of discrimination based on sex, race or other reasons. Institutional discrimination is more complex than individual discrimination.

An example can be the exclusive home or a job offer that asks for the “Catalan” language, excluding those who do not speak that language despite not being a real requirement for the position to which it aspires.

3. Collective discriminationtypes of discrimination

A type of discrimination in which a group of people is treated as inferiority. For example, discrimination against immigrants or the LGTBI collective.

4. Structural discriminationtypes of discrimination

It refers to the discrimination that arises from institutional policies that directly or indirectly favor some individuals and harm others. Although the policies of the institutions must be fair for all, this is not always the case.

5. Direct discrimination

The most well-known form of discrimination and the most visible, in which the person who suffers it receives unfair treatment from another person due to its characteristics. It is easier to detect. For example, not accepting a woman in a job just for not being a man, or marginalizing a  homosexual person for having a different body language.

6. Indirect discriminationtypes of discrimination

It is a less visible form of discrimination and often goes unnoticed. For example, the imposition of norms or rules that seem innocuous but in practice, they are not.

7. Negative discrimination

The person who is a victim of discrimination is treated in a discriminatory and harmful manner. For example, by not letting disabled people access to watch a football game.

8. Positive discrimination

Positive discrimination is one in which a disadvantaged group is helped to achieve equity. For example, with a different note in a physical examination of an opposition. This type of discrimination is instrumental, that is, pursues the objective of correcting a historical grievance towards a particular group. However, it is also a source of controversy and social debate.

9. Racism

Racism is one of the most well-known forms of discrimination. It is also known as discrimination based on race or ethnicity to which the person belongs, and occurs because an individual or several belonging to one race treat with inferiority another person or persons of another race. For example, discrimination against people of color, towards Jews or towards gypsies.

10. Sexismtypes of discrimination

Also another of the most well-known forms of discrimination, in which the person who practices it undervalues people of the opposite sex. There are some theories about it. You can know them in this article: ” Sexist prejudice: explanatory theories “.

11. Maternity discriminationtypes of discrimination

Maternity discrimination usually arises in the workplace, as it refers to treating a woman differently (either employee or job seeker) for the possibility of having children. There is a law that prohibits this type of discriminative behavior.

12. Religious discriminationtypes of discrimination

When an individual or group of individuals receive unfair and unfavorable treatment for not practicing or sharing the religious ideas of the society in which they live.

13. Discrimination by age

Age is the reason for discrimination. It is usually carried out, especially in work environments, where it is considered that the ideal age to work is from 25 to 45 years. Older people may be left out of the labor market and not interested in certain job offers. It is also called ‘ old age ‘, although discrimination against young people also occurs in certain contexts.

14. Discrimination due to disability or illness

People can also receive unfair treatment for suffering physical or mental disability or suffering from an illness. The consequences can be both personal treatment and access to jobs, among other damages.

15. Discrimination due to physical appearance

It manifests when the person receiving the discrimination is not very physically graceful. Either by not having attractive physical features or by suffering from obesity. It is known by the term ‘aspects’.

16. Transgender discrimination

It is the discrimination suffered by those individuals who live a gender role that does not agree with their biological sex. For example, transsexuals. This form of discrimination is also known as ‘ transphobia ‘.

17. Discrimination by political ideology

It occurs when an individual or group of individuals receive unfavorable treatment for not sharing political ideas with the society in which they live.

Jeffrey Wilson

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