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Health Care, Discrimination or Bias in

  • By: Elisia L. Cohen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Discrimination in health care is differential treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, or other group characteristics that disadvantage one group. Although discrimination is sometimes still practiced openly, it has become increasingly socially undesirable to do so. Discriminatory treatment may result from explicit or implicit biases in the health care system. Even as a consensus has developed that explicit racial hostility is abhorrent, people may still hold prejudicial attitudes. Although prejudicial attitudes do not necessarily result in discriminatory behavior, the persistence of such attitudes can result in unconscious and subtle forms of discrimination in place of more explicit hostility. These attitudes are referred to as implicit biases.

According to Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, implicit biases are attitudes or stereotypes about social groups ...

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