Overt Racial Discrimination and Institutional Racial Discrimination

635 Words 3 Pages
Prior to the 1960's, discrimination was viewed as a "creature of prejudice" (Feagin & Feagin, 1988). What this means is that the problem of discrimination was viewed as one motivated primarily by individuals (or groups of individuals) on the basis of prejudice or hatred. Implicit in this 'prejudice-causes-discrimination-model' (Feagin & Feagin, p. XX) was the assumption that the solution to discrimination was one of simply eliminating prejudice. Thus, the elimination of prejudicial behavior would lead to the eradication of discrimination. Since the 1960's, however, a more comprehensive conceptualization of discrimination has emerged.

According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Cyrus, 1993), there are two forms of racial
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Along similar lines, Cyrus (1993) and Rothenberg (1988) conceptualize three different types racial discrimination in our society: 1) individual; 2) organizational; and 3) structural. Individual discrimination refers to prejudicial attitudes and behaviors; Organizational discrimination refers to "the well-established rules, policies, and practices of institutions including, education, government; places of employment; and family institutions; and 3) structural discrimination refers to the cyclical nature of discrimination and how it reproduces itself within society. While on the surface most acts of discrimination appear to be inflicted against an individual - or groups of individuals - most are embedded in the very social fabric of society in the policies and practices and are much harder to detect. All forms of discrimination, however, serve to reproduce or maintain structural forms of discrimination. Such forms can be either conscious or unconscious (Cyrus, 1993) and subtle or obvious (Jones, 2000).

Chafe (1988) conceptualizes discrimination in terms of social control and offers four distinct ways in which discrimination operates to subjugate Blacks in society as dominated by whites. The four forms of social control which "inflict pervasive and insidious control upon blacks" (p. ?) include the following: 1) physical intimidation - "physical force and
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