Institutionalized discrimination

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Institutionalized discrimination refers to the unjust and discriminatory mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals by society and its institutions as a whole, through unequal intentional or unintentional bias or selection; as opposed to individuals making a conscious choice to discriminate. It stems from systemic stereotypical beliefs (such as sexist or racist beliefs) that are held by the vast majority living in a society where stereotypes and discrimination are the norm (see institutionalized racism).[1] Such discrimination is typically codified into the operating procedures, policies, laws, or objectives of such institutions.[citation needed]

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. Retrieved 2020-05-23.
  3. ^ "Minorities cite health care disparities". 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.
  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.