Discrimination refers to the unjust or prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups based on certain characteristics, such as race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or nationality. Discrimination can manifest in various ways, including acts of [bigotry](https://doctorparadox.net/psychology/bigotry-is-bad-thinking/), social exclusion, economic disadvantage, and unequal access to resources and opportunities. ## Forms of discrimination 1. **Direct discrimination**: This occurs when an individual or group is treated less favorably than others due to their specific characteristics. Examples include refusing to hire someone because of their race, or denying services to a person based on their sexual orientation. 2. **Indirect discrimination**: This type of discrimination occurs when a policy, rule, or practice appears neutral but has a disproportionate negative impact on individuals or groups with particular characteristics. For example, a company policy that requires employees to work on religious holidays might indirectly discriminate against employees who observe those holidays as part of their religious practices. 3. **Institutional discrimination**: This form of discrimination is rooted in the policies, practices, and culture of an institution or organization, resulting in systemic disadvantages for certain groups. An example might be a school system that consistently provides fewer resources to schools in predominantly minority neighborhoods, leading to lower educational outcomes for students in those areas. 4. **Structural discrimination**: This refers to social and economic inequalities that are embedded within the larger social, political, and [economic systems](https://doctorparadox.net/category/economics/). Structural discrimination often results from historical patterns of exclusion and marginalization and can be perpetuated through social norms, cultural practices, and institutional policies. ## Ending discrimination Combating discrimination is an ongoing challenge for societies around the world. Efforts to address discrimination include enacting anti-discrimination laws and regulations, promoting diversity and inclusion in various sectors, raising awareness about the effects of discrimination, and encouraging social change through education and advocacy. Promoting equality and eliminating discrimination requires the active involvement of individuals, communities, and institutions in recognizing and challenging [[prejudice]]d beliefs and behaviors. By fostering a culture of respect and acceptance, societies can work toward a more inclusive and equitable future for all.