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Institutional discrimination

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Institutional discrimination is discriminatory treatment of an individual or group of individuals by society or institutions, through unequal consideration of members of subordinate groups. These unfair and indirect methods of discrimination are often embedded in an institution's policies, procedures, laws, and objectives. The discrimination can be on grounds of gender, caste, race, ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic status. [1]

In the United States[edit]

Members of minority groups such as populations of African descent in the U.S. are at a much higher risk of encountering these types of sociostructural disadvantage. Among the severe and long-lasting detrimental effects of institutionalized discrimination on affected populations are increased suicide rates, suppressed attainment of wealth and decreased access to health care.[2][3]

Institutional racism[edit]

Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism that is embedded as normal practice within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.[4]

The term "institutional racism" was first coined in 1967 by Stokely Carmichael and Charles V. Hamilton in Black Power: The Politics of Liberation.[5] Carmichael and Hamilton wrote that while individual racism is often identifiable because of its overt nature, institutional racism is less perceptible because of its "less overt, far more subtle" nature. Institutional racism "originates in the operation of established and respected forces in the society, and thus receives far less public condemnation than [individual racism]".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., & Akert, R. M. (2010). Social Psychology (7th edition). New York: Pearson.
  2. ^ Thomas Shapiro; Tatjana Meschede; Sam Osoro (2013-02-25). "The Roots of the Widening Racial Wealth Gap: Explaining the Black-White Economic Divide" (PDF). Waltham, US: Institute on Assets and Social Policy. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-10-24. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  3. ^ Freking, Kevin. "Minorities cite health care disparities". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2022-09-26. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  4. ^ Harmon, Amy; Mandavilli, Apoorva; Maheshwari, Sapna; Kantor, Jodi (13 June 2020). "From Cosmetics to NASCAR, Calls for Racial Justice Are Spreading". The New York Times. Archived from the original on Nov 30, 2023.
  5. ^ Bhavnani, Reena; Mirza, Heidi Safia; Meetoo, Veena (2005). Tackling the Roots of Racism: Lessons for Success. Policy Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-1-86134-774-9.
  6. ^ Carmichael, Stokely; Hamilton, Charles V. (1967). Black Power: Politics of Liberation (November 1992 ed.). New York: Vintage. p. 4. ISBN 978-0679743132.