HomePage | Recent changes | View source | Discuss this page | Page history | Log in |

Printable version | Privacy policy

Discrimination is a general term used to refer to treating one group of people differently from another on such grounds as their race (racism), sex (sexism), religion (religious discrimination), ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation, preference, or behavior, or political views. Use of the term implies that the factors on which the discrimination is based are or should be considered irrelevant. Generally, the aggrieved group is considered by the discriminator as inferior to others.

Discrimination on the basis of such grounds as subcultural preference (Punks, Hippies, Mods vs. Rockers) is also common.

Discrimination spans the spectrum from exceedingly mild, such as slow or unhelpful retail service, through racial and ethnic slurs, denial of jobs or housing, to hate crimes and genocide.

Many governments have attempted to control discrimination through civil rights legislation, while in other regimes discrimination has been formalized and government-supported. Examples of the latter include apartheid in South Africa, institutionalized racial segregation in the USA from the Civil War through the 1960's, the "Jewish problem" in Nazi Germany, or re-education camps in some communist countries.

See also: collectivism, hate crime, civil rights movement, race, white supremacy, apartheid, race riot, anti-semitism, homophobia, speciesism