Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_81


Many of the greatest societal blights – war, genocide, poverty, social inequality, and oppression – are rooted in discrimination. Social science research investigates a broad range of questions related to discrimination: How are stereotypes and other legitimizing beliefs related to discriminatory behaviors? How pervasive is ageism, heterosexism, racism, classism, and other forms of discrimination? How can discrimination be reduced? How do individual and contextual factors interact to increase or decrease the likelihood of discriminatory treatment? What are the personal and societal consequences of discrimination? Answers to these questions have important implications for improving intergroup relations, reducing bias, and alleviating inequality.


Discrimination, the behavioral component of prejudice, refers to unjust or unfair treatment based on group membership (e.g., race, ethnicity, class, gender, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, physical appearance)....

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Online Resources

  1. Applied Research Center: Racial Justice through Media, Research and Leadership Development. http://www.arc.org
  2. Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center. http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/archives

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California – Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.University of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA