Discrimination and Prejudice

In the United States, there is a large body of employment law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, or sex. The scholarship on discrimination asks whether this commitment to equal opportunity is being realized, whether some forms of prejudice operate in covert or insidious ways, and whether discrimination has any statistical foundation.

Demographics of discrimination

How much discrimination is there? Is there less now than in the past? Are some forms of discrimination (e.g., gender discrimation, race discrimination) especially difficult to root out? Is there more or less discrimination in the United States than in other advanced industrial countries? How is discrimination best measured and monitored?

Conscious and unconscious discrimination

Is employment discrimination often due to unconscious beliefs or attributions on the part of employers? Are some types of discrimination (e.g., gender discrimination) especially covert in their sources?

Statistical discrimination

Do employers often discriminate against particular groups because they believe that members of those groups are less capable? Are these beliefs rooted in evidence or pure prejudice? What types of evidence are needed to extirpate unfounded beliefs? Is statistical discrimination of this sort increasing or decreasing in frequency?

"When the rich wage war it is the poor who die." - Jean-Paul Sartre

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