• Robbie W. C. Tourse
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski


Discrimination is an important element in the system of institutionalized racism in the United States of America. When individuals and groups view others as different, racially or otherwise, their feelings and behaviors incorporate the biases they extract from societal cues. This chapter discusses discrimination with a particular focus on racial discrimination. It presents a relational model that explains a process whereby the filtering of thoughts and emotions based on societal cues serve as the impetus to actions. When these actions are negative, that is discrimination. This chapter focuses on explicating the negative portion of the model—the process that leads to acts of discrimination. A discussion of the Trayvon Martin case (previously presented and discussed in more detail in Chap.  1) is used to illuminate the model. The chapter also discusses the multifaceted and complex ways in which discrimination becomes an intrinsic aspect of the lives of all Americans. Several discriminatory acts are presented that can stand alone, but that work together within the American system: domination, marginalization, power, prejudice, privilege, stereotyping, and subordination.


Discrimination Racial discrimination Societal cues Relational model Personal construction Domination Subordination Privilege Stereotypes Power Marginalization Trayvon martin 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robbie W. C. Tourse
    • 1
  • Johnnie Hamilton-Mason
    • 2
  • Nancy J. Wewiorski
    • 3
  1. 1.Boston College School of Social WorkChestnut HillUSA
  2. 2.Simmons College School of Social WorkBostonUSA
  3. 3.U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsBostonUSA

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