Effects of Discrimination

The article talks about the aspects of discriminatory activities that affect the various aspects in the society. The article describes discrimination as the act of unequal treatment based on races and other ethnic based actions. There are also relevant methods of measuring the act of discrimination in different settings (Pager, & Shepherd, 2008). The methods are however, asserted to have various limitations. The discrimination activities take various forms in the society and different organizations. Such actions affect the criteria of equality among the people in different settings. The article identifies discrimination in different levels such as at the employment places, the organizations and in the consumers markets. The article also focuses on giving appropriate orientations on the debates concerning the issues of discrimination.

Structural Functional Approach to Discrimination

The functionalism approach of sociology attempts to explain the society as a set of related systems. It explores the society to as unitary system consisting of different parts. This is a sociological theory the attempts to evaluate the society as a unitary whole. It attempts to combine the elements in a society that works together to create stability. The theory views the society as one unit that would influence its overall stability. The discrimination approach implies that a given group of people is given roles to perform but bases the roles on the grounds of inequality. The functionalism approach attempts to identify discrimination practices as granting of different roles to diversified people within the society with others feeling deprived of their appropriate position. The different parts in the society indicate that the difference in the roles that people perform work together to bring out the society in a unitary whole. The roles are also shared based on some criteria. The discrimination practices arise where one group view themselves weak in terms of the roles that they intend to perform. For example, different employees in an organization perform different functions to make success in the operations while in the process some employees feel the aspect of inequality. I would criticize this perspective due to the ways in which it regards discrimination as a mere division of roles with some people feeling awkward about their roles. There is more into discrimination than the facts explained by the theory.

Social Conflict Approach Towards Discrimination

The social conflict theory explains that the society and groups in the society have different degree of access to the resources in the society. It implies that the additionally powerful people will always use their powers to exploit the other lower social classes. The perspective is essential in explaining the acts of discrimination in various places and scenarios. The theory views the society as a place of class struggles. This explains the existence of the discriminatory activities within the organizations and the society as a whole. A given chain of commands within the societies always dictates the activities involved in the society. The high classes in the society always keep the lower class people from increasing their welfares in the societies. This disparity in terms of classes affects the relationship of the people thus causing the elements of unfairness. The theory also describes the society as a place of struggles due to the differences between the classes of people that exist. This indifference proposed by the theory explains the existence of discrimination all over the different settings in the society. The critique in this case is that it is not only resources that cause the elements of discrimination. The act of discrimination involves even the other qualitative factors like gender and other inequality practices that might lead to struggles.

Symbolic Interaction Approach

This concept of sociological theory attempts to explain that the people within the society attempt to assign meaning to different symbols that best satisfy their understanding and interest. In this case, the people react by considering the different meanings that they attach to different objects in the society. This shows that the society has some symbolic interpretations that people undertake differently. Additionally, the symbols that people attach meaning to affects the judgments of the individuals involved in such situations. The symbolic interaction approach attempts to explain discrimination in the aspect of symbols and the view of people towards the symbols. Under this context, the others due to the differences may not welcome the people who may not welcome the objects or symbols presented for view. The people who do not accept such symbolic expressions may view themselves as alienated from the societies. The constructed reality among the upper class individuals displaying a given dress code shows may show symbols not accepted by the other people.


The paper has addressed different circumstances that may result into environments of inequality. The practices have been defined as an act of unfairness to the people based on certain factors like ethnicity. The paper has also analyzed the different perspectives of theories concerning the explanation of discrimination. Among the approaches used in explanation include symbolic interaction and the conflict explains the existence of discrimination in different ways. The symbolic interaction approach attempts to explain discrimination in the aspect of symbols and the view of people towards the symbols. Structural functionalism is also essential in explaining discrimination.