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Racism and Discrimination

Racism can be defined as a system of oppression based on racial/ethnic group designations in which a pervasive ideology of racial superiority and inferiority provides the foundation for structural inequalities, intergroup conflict, discrimination, and prejudice. Racism, like all systems of oppression (e.g., sexism, classism, heterosexism/homophobia, ageism), is based on power asymmetries such that the dominant group is granted unearned privileges, such as respect and esteem, social validation and affirmation, opportunities and rewards, freedoms and safety, and greater access to valued societal resources.

Racial discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes are the building blocks as well as the products of racism. Stereotypes are cognitive overgeneralizations, the labels associated with different groups. Prejudice is an attitude formed about a group of people without adequate evidence. When prejudgment is added to ...

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