Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Discrimination and Oppression
Discrimination and oppression are grounded in the belief of the superiority of one group over another, with corresponding rights to greater power and opportunity in society. Prejudicial feelings and beliefs are not necessarily oppressive, but frequently result in oppression when acted upon. Oppression refers to the economic, political, and cultural actions and behaviors that overpower, stifle, and exploit individuals. At the core of oppression is the unequal and often punitive use of power in society to target individuals. lustification for the abuse of power and mistreatment of individuals is found in the disparagement, vilification, and dehumanization of individuals and selected groups. Individuals and institutions discriminate when they make distinctions between people based on differences without regard to individual attributes. Discrimination is grounded in prejudice that incorporates negative attitudes or stereotypes attributed to specific groups or categories, strong emotive and affective responses to the groups, and a capacity for behavioral responses ...