Discrimination refers to the disadvantage or degradation of groups or individuals according to certain values or due to unreflected, e.g. Sometimes also unconscious attitudes , prejudices or emotional associations .
The word discrimination comes from the verbal noun discriminatio, derived from the Latin verb discriminare "separate, separate, delimit, distinguish" in the late Latin , "divorce, segregation." The verb discriminate was used in the 16th century with the neutral meaning "distinguish, but, separate" borrowed into German and has been continuously documented there since the 19th century. Since the late 20th century, it has meant with a negative evaluation “disparage, disadvantage, reset”, first in the political and then above all in the social area, while the older, value-neutral meaning of the verb only appears sporadically in technical language .
The verbal noun discrimination has been established in German since the early 20th century with the meaning of “degradation, disadvantage, denigration”, initially in the field of business (for trade and economic discrimination) and then also for discrimination against social groups. In the value-neutral meaning of "distinction", discrimination is also to be found sporadically in technical use.
Since the 19th century, discrimination has also been documented as a second form of borrowing , which in technical use has retained its value-free meaning “distinction”, but since the early 20th century also appears in the meaning of (social) discrimination .
The definition formulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1949 is still considered to be dominant today. Accordingly, discrimination is described as behavior "based on a distinction made on the basis of natural or social categories that are neither related to the individual abilities or merits nor to the specific behavior of the individual person."
The Sociology examines social discrimination and differentiated here include between individual, structural , institutional and linguistic discrimination. In contrast to social-psychological prejudice research, it is about social conditions and causes that cannot only be reduced to individual attitudes. In jurisprudence , the term is more narrowly defined and only refers to the differentiation on the basis of certain enumerative reasons. So sociology and jurisprudence use the term in a normative way.
In sociology, discrimination was initially understood as an act . One can speak of discrimination when individual actions have recognizable consequences, which have occurred “because actors regard other actors as unequal or inferior partners based on perceived social or ethnic characteristics and treat them correspondingly disparagingly in comparison to members of their own collective have. " disadvantaged would people based on ethnic or social ascriptions as' foreigners and minorities. Their possibilities are limited in the social context and this restriction is justified and justified as a "natural" one.
The perpetrator of social discrimination is also called a discriminator .
Unequal treatment, inequality, unequal rights
Social inequalities or social discrimination based on factors that can be influenced by the person concerned ( access to educational institutions , income level, social behavior) tend to be accepted or tolerated rather than individually unchangeable factors and triggers of discrimination (ethnicity, gender, disability, age or sexual preferences). There is also a high level of acceptance for preferences that do not worsen the position of others (example: adults without children are not disadvantaged by the fact that children receive reduced or free admission to an institution).
In general, however, what the guiding principle of the German Federal Constitutional Court expresses on dealing with the principle of equality in Article 3 of the Basic Law: “The general principle of equality in Article 3 (1) of the Basic Law requires the legislature to treat essentially the same equally and essentially unequal unequal . “The legislators use the terms equal treatment , equality and equality . This is how Article 7 of the Federal Constitutional Law of Austria expresses it, which states that all citizens are "equal before the law" and that the public bodies have to commit themselves to "the equality of men and women" and to this, "equal treatment of disabled and non-disabled people [...]. "
It must therefore always be clarified whether an inequality “lies in the nature of the matter” and consequently allows or even requires different legal regulations or whether a regulation treats essentially the same unequally. Not every form of unequal treatment fulfills the conceptual profile of social discrimination . Some forms of unequal treatment are not only required by law, but also legitimate.
- The essentially equal ability of the father and mother of a child to personally care for their child must be taken into account in that fathers can also take parental leave. Unequal treatment of men and women (e.g. with regard to break regulations) could only be justified by specific necessities such as breastfeeding a child. Protection during pregnancy and childbirth is required.
- While the genders are in principle considered to be equal under the same conditions ( gender mainstreaming ), this is not the case with disabled people: Here there is a commitment to compensate for the disability as a result of less social consideration of inequalities by giving everyone the same opportunities despite different conditions should have to participate ( disability mainstreaming , universal design , compensation for disadvantages ).
- The distinction between human rights and civil rights : The unequal rights of citizens and non-citizens are not discrimination as long as they do not violate any intergovernmental agreements, in particular the demands on fundamental human rights, to which most states of the world have committed themselves by signing the human rights declaration .
- Legal provisions on the limited rights of minors (reason: insufficient maturity, vulnerability, political control)
According to Basic Law, unequal treatment may only be carried out in Germany if
- one with them legitimate purpose followed
- the unequal treatment is suitable to achieve the purpose pursued by the legislature, i.e. promotes the intended purpose
- they are necessary (i.e. there must be no milder means with which the purpose can be achieved equally effectively)
- the principle of proportionality is observed, i.e. if the measure and weight of the actual inequality or the purpose pursued with the unequal treatment are in an appropriate proportion to the measure and weight of the legal inequality.
Furthermore, a distinction was made between “negative” (disadvantageous) and “positive” (favorable) discrimination (see below in the section on positive discrimination ). According to Karl-Heinz Hillmann , social discrimination as a disadvantage only gains its social relevance with reference to the specific equality and equal treatment principles postulated in a society . Accordingly, a distinction must always be made between illegitimate, normatively inadmissible discrimination and socially legitimate unequal treatment.
Equal treatment of different groups, which does not take into account the inequality of living conditions, can also be assessed as discrimination. Anatole France criticizes norms that apply “without regard to the person” by speaking of the “majestic equality of the law that forbids rich and poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal bread”.
Discrimination Theory (Sociology)
Social discrimination (sociology)
Social discrimination in the narrower sense is (according to Wagner et al. 1990) the purely categorical disadvantage of people due to a (mostly negative) assessment.
Evaluation and categorization
The starting point of any discrimination is an assessment of living beings based on actual or ascribed group-specific characteristics. Examples for this are:
- Descent ("race"), skin color or ethnicity , national or geographical origin ( xenophobia , racism , anti-Semitism , anti-gypsyism , excessive nationalism , chauvinism , regionalism )
- Birth, social origin ( classicism ) or economic circumstances, language ( linguisticism ) or age ( age discrimination )
- Gender ( sexism , transphobia )
- Religion ( persecution of Christians , hostility to Jews , Islamophobia )
- political or other conviction ( political persecution , discrimination against atheists and agnostics )
- sexual orientation ( heterosexism , homophobia )
- physical or mental ability and physical appearance ( ableism , ableism , lookism , Audism )
After being assessed as part of a category, “people are reduced to mere representatives of a category, regardless of their particular characteristics, interests and merits”.
Discrimination theories such as the triple oppression theory or intersectionality research assume that different forms of discrimination overlap and reinforce each other or that their overlaps lead to completely new forms of discrimination. The Bielefeld research project group-related enmity assumes that the various forms of discrimination form a syndrome that is based on a generalized ideology of inequality.
Assessment standards can be social norms of a majority society that are predetermined by a conscious decision or by social development. It defines the standard that a person supposedly has to conform to. For example, “white, German, male, heterosexual, healthy, efficient, Christian” can be regarded as the norm of a majority society. Social minorities are therefore mostly subject to disadvantageous discrimination . However, majorities or equally represented parts of the population, such as women in patriarchal societies, colonized population groups, disadvantaged layers in class societies or blacks in apartheid regimes , can represent discriminated groups.
The starting point for discrimination can also be behaviors on which the person who practices it (regularly) is fixated. So z. B. someone who smokes regularly becomes a member of the social group of "smokers". Such groups can also become the object of group-specific discrimination (here: "smoker discrimination"). Qualifying the sanctioning of prohibited behavior (up to and including criminal prosecution ) as “discrimination” presupposes that the corresponding prohibitions are illegitimate and contrary to the rule of law . In general, law enforcement measures do not constitute a form of discrimination.
The diagnosis that certain conditions or behaviors are “discriminatory” is often countered by the fact that this diagnosis is an expression of “ social envy ”.
Disadvantages can take place at all levels of life, in particular in the areas of housing, work (e.g. professional practice , pay ), law (e.g. freedom of movement ), care (e.g. health) , bureaucracy, the public, leisure ( e.g. sport) and in the private sector.
Social discrimination can take many forms. In the scientific and political discussion, a distinction is made primarily between the
- conscious of unconscious discrimination
- direct and indirect discrimination
- individual, structural and institutional discrimination
Individual discrimination (e.g. according to “ beautiful ” and “ugly”, or “near” and “ distant ”) is assumed in various theoretical approaches for every social actor as behavior patterns that can never be completely avoided . Individual discrimination can take place in connection with structural or institutional discrimination and can be exercised consciously or unconsciously. A general distinction is made here between prejudice , stereotype and specific discrimination. To denote people who belong to certain groups
- Stereotypes : mainly generalized beliefs and opinions
- Prejudices : in addition, general evaluations, emotional reactions and behavioral dispositions
- individual discrimination : specific actions and behaviors by individuals
The determination of discriminatory attitudes takes place by means of prejudice research .
Structural discrimination is the discrimination against subgroups in society that is based on the nature of the structure of society as a whole. It cannot be clearly traced back to specific institutions and is intensified in everyday life through prejudice, disadvantage and exclusion. In a society with a patriarchal structure, women are structurally discriminated against, while men are only discriminated against through individual stereotypes or individual institutions. Structural discrimination must be distinguished from institutional discrimination.
- Differentiation of structural discrimination from oppression
According to Young, oppression involves violent “holding down” of the disadvantaged group and is often associated with exploitation . A revolt against oppression will face violent repression . While what Young calls cultural imperialism, as well as marginalization and powerlessness, also count as discrimination, discrimination does not have to be linked to exploitation and violence.
Institutional discrimination refers to practices of degradation, disadvantage and exclusion that emanate from the organizational actions of institutions . This often takes place in a network of social institutions, for example in the education and training sector , the labor market , housing and urban development policy , health care or the police . Historically, the term institutional discrimination goes back to the discussion on institutional racism in the USA and Great Britain . In contrast to structural discrimination, institutional discrimination is not present in society as a whole, but can be part of the former.
Economic discrimination is an essential part of institutional discrimination . Individuals are then considered to be economically discriminated "if they are confronted with consideration in economic transactions that are measured by personal characteristics that are not directly related to the performance ". Economic discrimination takes place in particular on the labor market, the credit market, the insurance market and the housing market and is often expressed in wage and income discrimination .
Birgit Rommelspacher emphasizes the aspect of symbolic discrimination . It is true that it is often emphasized that the discriminated group, compared to the privileged group, has "fewer opportunities in life, that is, less access to resources and fewer opportunities to participate in society." But discrimination also takes place on the symbolic level. This subheading, for example, includes making discriminated groups invisible as one of the five domination techniques identified by Berit Ås . Also Axel Honneth emphasizes the aspect of invisibility. In general, he sees the personality components at the recognition level
- the personal integrity of rape and abuse
- the social integrity by disenfranchisement and exclusion and
- of dignity through humiliation and insult
Discrimination through language
Linguistic discrimination is understood to mean that form of language use in which other people or groups are verbally belittled, devalued, insulted or attacked by individuals or groups, consciously or unconsciously. One can be discriminated against linguistically
- on the word or concept level through the use of names, terms and concepts that express disdain;
- on the sentence and text level through the use of historically loaded phrases, stereotypes and prejudices;
- At the level of the agenda setting, on the one hand, by using terms that are inherently harmless and differentiating people are mentioned in negative contexts, although these terms do not help to explain the respective situation; this applies in particular to reports on criminal offenses. On the other hand, there is also inadequate agenda setting in the traditional way of dealing with the pair of terms “woman” / “miss”, as this language use only automatically addresses the marital status of women, but not of men.
A linguistic categorization of people alone does not constitute discrimination. It can, however, become one if the assigned category is associated with so little social prestige that equal treatment is excluded from the outset. Studies of pejorative judgments based on ethnic characteristics ( ethnophaulisms ) have shown that the greater the social distance between the ethnic groups, the greater the number of different names against the lower group. Often these ethnophaulisms ("niggers", "spaghetti eaters", ...) served to justify past and existing injustices.
Linguists and cultural scholars point out the hurtful character of discriminatory terms and modes of language, such as the use of the racist and colonialist word negro . Viktor Klemperer points out that words like "arsenic" can work.
Whether certain terms are meant to be discriminatory can be objectified by methods of linguistics (example: the deterioration in meaning of the word “ woman ”, which has only been perceived as an insult since the 19th century). At present, methods of language statistics are suitable for providing empirical information about the pragmatic use of terms . A concrete example of this method is the study of the use of the word "Fräulein" in the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" in the years 1995-2005 by Okamura Saburo, who proves that not every use of the word "Fräulein" in the present is an expression of Sexism . At the same time, Saburo's analysis helps to demonstrate clearly discriminatory intentions of speakers and writers.
Discrimination based on language
The political discrimination of groups on the basis of their linguistic peculiarities or peculiarities is called linguisticism based on English . It is not only the already marginalized language minorities that are affected by this . Rather, certain linguistic areas and cultures perceive foreign, growing linguistic majorities as threatening, as is currently the case with English in the wake of Americanization . One tries to counteract this with measures such as statutory radio quotas .
Discrimination in the context of market economies
Exclusion and discrimination as indispensable instruments of the economic process
In economics , the terms “(price) discrimination” and “ (price) differentiation ” are largely treated as synonyms and describe the process of asking different prices from customers depending on the willingness to pay. The term “discrimination” largely lacks the connotation “unjust, illegitimate, inadmissible”. Price discrimination is seen as a synonym for price differentiation .
Critics of the market economy accuse the market economy of being “institutionalized discrimination” by its very construction, since when prices rise, people with low purchasing power are systematically eliminated, while when prices fall, many small providers lose their livelihood. Proponents of the market economy such as Adam Smith , the “spiritual father” of liberalism , however, believe that an economic order based on altruism rather than selfishness cannot lead to general prosperity . The constant economic scarcity in an economy or the world economy inevitably results in discrimination against the access of individuals and groups to the available resources. Whether these distinctions are degrading for the “separated” or “just” cannot be decided explicitly and can only be discussed if explicit values are introduced. The normative approach, aiming at evaluations and policy recommendations, places the “desirable” or “undesirable” in the foreground. Economic subjects cannot escape the introduction of “normative approaches” into the market economy process, especially if they are acted upon by the state (in the form of laws, decrees, ordinances, orders, court judgments, etc.) or in the form of “envious reactions” (ie targeted boycotts of "unfairly acting" providers by consumers).
In the insurance industry , the differentiation according to risks is called premium differentiation . This, in turn, is in conflict-laden connection with anti-discrimination legislation ( General Equal Treatment Act ). If these risks are mathematically demonstrable in a connection with the differentiating feature according to which the tariffs are structured, then a preference or disadvantage is also factually justified and therefore no unobjective “discrimination” in the legal-sociological sense.
Discrimination Theory (Economics)
The thesis that a certain social group is discriminated against inadmissibly is often rejected by the (alleged) discriminators. So z. For example, the Federation of German Employers' Associations claims that the undisputed fact that in Germany women earn an average of € 14.62, but men € 18.81 an hour (as of 2010), is not an expression of inadmissible discrimination against women their gender. Because “it would be economically nonsensical to pay men more than women for the same work.” Only a small part of the difference of 4.19 € is not due to qualification deficits and similar factors that justify unequal treatment .
Admittedly problematic inequality of treatment of economic subjects is explained in economics with the help of the preference model and the theory of statistical discrimination. The preference model as the most prominent example of neoclassical discrimination theories assumes that wage differentials between groups of employees can be explained by entrepreneurs 'preference for certain groups and by entrepreneurs' prejudice against certain groups. From an economic point of view, however, such preferences are only problematic if they impair the optimization of sales and profits.
In the model of statistical discrimination, entrepreneurs only have incomplete information about the productivity of individual employees or about the solvency or willingness of individual customers. They therefore use representative, social statistical characteristics of groups (e.g. nationality , age, gender, qualification level) for the probabilistic assessment of the characteristics of group members. Group characteristics thus act as cost-saving indicators for the expected productivity of the employee and the ability and willingness of customers to pay, regardless of their actual individual characteristics. Workers whose actual productivity is above (or below) the assumed level receive “too low” (or “too high”) wages, and older people only receive loans at relatively high interest rates if they are “for the sake of simplicity” It is generally assumed that they have a relatively poor credit rating . The model of statistical discrimination was developed by Kenneth Arrow and Edmund Phelps in the early 1970s .
Politics and law
The term is also used normatively on the language levels of politics and constitutional law .
At the political level, the politically undesired unequal treatment of people based on group characteristics is criticized by interest representatives and at least equal rights , often also equal opportunities, are demanded. This can be compared to criticizing the social injustice of certain regulations in family law, the salary structure or tax legislation. The effectiveness of the appeal to social discrimination is shown by the success that the respective group has on legislation. A successful example of such legislation was the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . Here lobbyists for African-Americans had committed themselves so successfully at the risk of their own lives that they were ultimately able to assert their own interest in increased participation in society (education, elections, etc.) over the interests of opponents of the Civil Rights Act.
Discrimination Theory (Law)
In jurisprudence, discrimination means unequal treatment that occurs without a justifiable objective reason . A legally desired, preferential treatment, however, is called privilege . Any unequal treatment that - regardless of whether it is socially desired or not - is not covered by the equal treatment laws, which classify certain reasons as unjustifiable, does not constitute social discrimination in jurisprudence, but only unequal treatment.
Worldwide valid law
From the beginning, the United Nations placed the fight against social discrimination at the forefront of its human rights activities.
On their part, there are the prohibition of social discrimination, Art. 26 UN Pact III , the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1966, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 1979, and the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination of Religion or Belief from 1981.
Europe-wide or EU-wide valid law
The European Convention on Human Rights contains a prohibition of discrimination in with Article 14.
According to TFEU , any discrimination against nationals of the Member States on the basis of their nationality is prohibited. For the development of this standard, among other things, EC directives , such as Council Directive 2000/43 / EC of June 29, 2000 on the application of the principle of equal treatment regardless of race or ethnic origin (OJ EC No. L 180, p. 22) as well as the Directive 2000/78 / EC of the Council of 27 November 2000 that a general framework for the achievement of equal treatment set in employment and occupation adopted.the
Law valid for the member states of the European Union
In European Community law , discrimination on the basis of enumeratively listed characteristics is the opposite of equal treatment. A distinction is made between direct and indirect discrimination . Here, discrimination is used synonymously with unequal treatment , but this also includes unjustified equal treatment : "Unequal treatment can be caused by different rules being applied to comparable situations or the same rules being applied to different situations." Direct discrimination occurs when a person is due to one of the reasons mentioned is treated less favorably in a comparable situation. Indirect discrimination takes place when an apparently neutral criterion or an apparently neutral practice of a regulation people who have a certain religion or belief, have a special disability, are of a certain age or show a special sexual orientation in comparison with other people subject to particular disadvantage.
According to a definition of the European Union, there is indirect discrimination,
- “If apparently neutral regulations, criteria or procedures can disadvantage certain persons in a particular way on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, their religion or belief, a disability, their age or their sexual orientation […]”.
At the constitutional level, the term has an individualistic meaning and refers to an alleged or real inequality that is capable of being judged by a court with reference to fundamental rights , in particular Article 3, Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law . It must be taken into account that state organs are primarily the addressees of constitutional prohibitions of arbitrariness . The admissibility of encroachments on the contractual freedom of private economic entities (especially the admissibility of the legal evaluation of their preferences) is a matter of dispute.
A frequently used strategy when using the term makes use of the mixing of the normative and the factual-descriptive level of the term discrimination in order to use the fundamental rights analogy to gain advantages in the political debate about group interests. It is therefore a politics of interests for particular groups who want to obtain equal treatment.
According to AGG , direct discrimination occurs if a person experiences, has experienced or would have experienced less favorable treatment (within the meaning of AGG) than another person in a comparable situation.(1)
According to the German AGG , indirect discrimination isAbs. 2
- "If apparently neutral regulations, criteria or procedures put people at a particular disadvantage compared to other persons (within the meaning of AGG), unless the regulations, criteria or processes in question are objectively justified by a legitimate aim."
In contrast to direct discrimination, indirect discrimination does not require open, targeted or arbitrary behavior. It is sufficient that the disadvantage found is not objectively justified.
The Federal Constitutional Court confirmed in 2008 that a gender-neutral regulation (in the specific case a disadvantage due to a pension deduction for former part-time employees ) can represent indirect gender-specific discrimination:
- "A link to gender can therefore also exist if a gender-neutral regulation predominantly affects women and this is due to natural or social differences between the sexes".
United States Law
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States enables similar procedures in the USA as in Germany under Article 3 of the Basic Law.
Discrimination Theory (Social Psychology)
Explanation of the behavior of discriminators
Striving for a positive social identity
The social identity theory of Tajfel and Turner describes occurring psychological processes by which an individual's social identity wins. Social identity encompasses that part of the self-concept that results from identification with one or more groups, i.e. the ideas of who or what one is resulting from group membership . The social identity does not only result from the identification with one or more groups, but also from the evaluation of these groups as a result of the comparison with other groups. The discrimination can then be caused by the need for a positive social identity. To achieve a positive social identity:
- if one compares oneself on the dimensions where the members of the ingroup do better than those of the outgroup ;
- the members of the ingroup tend to be perceived more positively than those of the outgroup with regard to relevant comparative characteristics.
The generally more positive perception can come about through selective information processing: Particular attention is paid to information that is positive for the ingroup and that which is negative for the outgroup ( selective perception ). There is a differentiation ( othering ) from the outgroup and thus the upgrading of the ingroup. This supposedly legitimate hierarchy between ingroup and outgroup leads to a justification for disadvantage and discrimination against the outgroup.
In the sense of the availability heuristic according to Tversky and Kahneman, one overestimates the positive properties of the ingroup and negative properties of the outgroup due to the better availability of relevant information. A variety of motivational and cognitive processes work together, which lead to a more negative perception of the outgroup. In addition to those mentioned, a large number of other psychological processes are likely to be involved in the occurrence of discrimination, e.g. B. the prejudices briefly discussed below against members of other groups, such as other ethnic groups.
Securing resources / dominance orientation
Discrimination serves as a mechanism to fundamentally differentiate members of the outgroup from one's own group and present them as unequal. Through the legitimation of unequal treatment based on this, the ingroup secures privileges and resources and refuses a fair division of these ( see theory of realistic group conflict according to LeVine and Campbell and social dominance theory according to Sidanius and Pratto ), even if there is no lack of resources.
People who have the personality traits of an authoritarian character , i.e. orient themselves to power and dominance constellations due to their socialization or upbringing, tend to distrust other people and adhere to conventions, are more inclined to discriminatory behavior or see discrimination as legitimate and justified.
The relationship between attitudes and prejudices and behavior, such as B. Discrimination is complex. Although it can be assumed that there is a causal connection between attitude and behavior and that prejudices usually result in a general tendency towards discriminatory behavior, no conclusions can be drawn in individual cases with regard to a specific action and a corresponding prejudice.
The extent of the influence of prejudices depends on a wide variety of causes, such as family socialization , clique socialization, extent of contact with foreigners, age, level of education, gender characteristics , tendency towards authoritarianism , dominance orientation, national pride , social relative deprivation , intergroup fear . The extent of contact with foreigners deserves special consideration, as this also applies to one of the intervention approaches to reduce ethnic prejudice. For example, Rolf van Dick and colleagues were able to show that prejudices against foreigners correlate negatively with the extent of contact experiences. With the help of path analyzes , van Dick and colleagues were able to show that the influence of contact experiences on the extent of prejudices is stronger than the influence of prejudices on the number of contacts. This indicates that there could be a causal direction of action from the contact experiences to the extent of prejudice.
These empirical findings are in good agreement with the principle of decategorization through personalization according to Brewer and Miller (1984). Through direct contacts, the self-categorization processes move from the group level down to the personal level, which is why the corresponding person is no longer seen as a uniform and exchangeable group member, but as an unmistakable individual with unique characteristics. Prejudices can be refuted in this way and should therefore also decrease. Gordon Allport advocates the same with his contact hypothesis.
|Rejection of discrimination based on ethnic origin, religion / belief, sexual orientation, age or disability
(100 = rejection under whatever circumstances and for whatever reason)
|country||Own opinion||Attributed opinion of others|
|Germany / East||71||65|
|Germany / West||68||60|
|European Commission: EU Barometer 57. Discrimination in Europe. Summary of the results  , p. 12|
Various research groups conduct empirical studies in order to ascertain behavior, attitudes and structures that can be interpreted as discriminatory . These can be limited to certain sub-aspects (e.g. educational participation is regularly examined in the social survey on the social situation of students in Germany) or collect generally discriminatory attitudes. So since 2002, explores a group of Wilhelm Heitmeyer at the University of Bielefeld , the group-focused enmity . This survey was initially limited to Germany and was expanded to other EU countries in 2008.
The European Union also collects attitudes to questions of discrimination as part of its “Euro Barometer”. The EU barometers on discrimination since 2003 examined the attitudes of Europeans towards discrimination and personal experiences with it.
In this study, attitudes to individual forms of discrimination based on ethnic origin, religion / worldview, sexual orientation, age or disability were examined. It was found that in all countries the respondents were on average of the opinion that others are more likely to think that discrimination is legitimate than they do themselves. In all countries, the majority of over 80 percent rejected discrimination in every case. Only in the German-speaking countries was this majority sometimes well below the 80 percent (Austria 78%, Germany / East 71%, Germany / West 68%). It was also shown that the attitudes towards discrimination of the respective groups correlated , i. H. if someone z. B. found discrimination on the basis of age permissible, he also did so because of z. B. Gender. This empirical finding coincides with the assumption of the research project on group -related enmity that the respective hostilities towards disadvantaged groups were based on a common " syndrome of group-related enmity".
However, in 2008 the “feel-good question” (“How do you feel about the thought of a neighbor [with the attribute x]?”) Showed that the aversions against certain social groups in the EU are different: allegedly hardly anyone has against disabled neighbors something (average value on a scale from 1 to 10: Europe-wide 9.1), while there is a strong rejection of Sinti and Roma as neighbors (average value: 6.0). According to this, xenophobia and heterosexism would be much more pronounced than other forms of discrimination.
According to a 2013 study by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency , experience of discrimination is part of everyday life at German schools and universities. Every fourth pupil or student with a migration background feels discriminated against.
A common and also legally recognized method of discrimination measurement is the residual method , also known as the method of component decomposition . The residual method distinguishes between discriminatory and non-discriminatory causes of inequality. In this way, the difference in earnings between men and women ( gender wage gap ) is not simply considered, but is related to training. This means that the difference in earnings that can be justified by a different endowment with human capital is “deducted” from the total difference in earnings. This non-justifiable remainder is the residue that represents discrimination. One criticism of this method is based on the fact that the justifiable unequal treatment is based on discrimination, in this example the gender-specific acquisition, development and preservation of human capital can be based on discrimination. Another way of looking at it is a problematic form of equal treatment . For example, for all employees, the number of years spent in the job is added up and the "seniority" is calculated as the basis for remuneration. The discrimination in this case consists in the fact that the “responsibility” of women for bringing up children and the associated lost years are not taken into account. The residual method can only measure a minimum of discrimination. Apart from that, it is difficult to judge whether and to what extent z. For example, when deciding against a well-paid profession and for a poorly paid “typical female profession” at the beginning of a woman’s professional life, women are discriminatory factors at play.
Limits of the empirical method
In general, a methodological problem with surveys is that respondents often tend to give socially desirable answers . It is therefore important to find questions that will lure interviewees out of the reserve.
- As early as 2000, Hans Wocken had found out that hardly anyone in Germany would admit that they feel uncomfortable when they have a disabled neighbor. The question: “If a severely handicapped child is born, wouldn't it be better for everyone if this child were allowed to die?”, However, said 60 percent of those questioned in the same survey; another 15 percent did not contradict the requirement.
- Only 20 percent of the Bulgarians surveyed in the context of the Euro-Barometer 2008 ( see above ) stated that discrimination against people on the basis of their sexual orientation was widespread in Bulgaria (best value in Europe). The same respondents responded to the associated feel-good question (“How do you feel at the thought of a homosexual person - a gay person - as a neighbor?”) With the worst value in Europe (5.3).
Legal regulations against discrimination
|"Do you know your rights in the event that you are the victim of discrimination?"|
At the national and international level there are a number of other laws, ordinances and recommendations in addition to those described above under jurisprudence . See prohibition of discrimination . As a rule, characteristics such as: B. Leadership and performance.
One possible measure against discrimination is social inclusion (as much as inclusion), in which disadvantages for excluded people or groups of people are to be reduced or prevented through targeted facilitation of participation in public life (education, work, culture, ...), e.g. B .:
- Integration classes or inclusion classes, in which disabled and non-disabled children are taught together
- Government grants for the creation of disabled jobs.
- Creation of barrier-free parking spaces, toilets, building entrances, seats, boarding options for buses, etc. v. m. ( Barrier-free building )
- Lettering of public facilities in Braille .
- Marking of danger points such as B. Crossings and stops for the visually impaired by changing (mostly ribbed) floor coverings.
Efforts to include disadvantaged groups find their limit in the systematically excluding mechanisms of the market economy (see above) and in the positive evaluation of the term and the idea of “exclusivity” among members of privileged social groups.
Affirmative action / positive discrimination
Under affirmative action is meant institutionalized measures to eliminate discrimination against members of a group. Positive discrimination and affirmative action are both unclear terms that are often synonymous and have no clear relationship to one another. Anti-racism organizations point out that the term positive discrimination is misleading and that positive action is not discrimination because discrimination is “negative in nature”.
The pair of terms positive and negative discrimination is often used to differentiate between preference and disadvantage. It should be noted that, depending on the author , positive discrimination is sometimes meant in the sense of affirmative action for positive preference , a measure to promote an underrepresented, but not necessarily discriminated group (e.g. women's quota). But it can also mean that a disadvantage , i. H. Negative discrimination is based on a positive group definition (e.g. "Only for 'whites"' ). The disadvantage then leads to discrimination against the unsupported group.
Affirmative action includes so-called positive measures that favor disadvantaged groups ( compensation for disadvantages : e.g. quota regulations for people with disabilities and women, facilitating access to universities for African Americans in the USA). Such measures rated as positive are not considered in Austrian and German legislation to discriminate against those whose chances of success are reduced by the " positive measures " (e.g. the associated disadvantage of male applicants if a competitor performs the same / similar performance).
Another measure of the affirmative action is the so-called “contract compliance”, which means that in public contracts, preference is given to companies that strive for or achieve gender equality goals.
Under positive action measures are mostly like informing, training and encouraging disadvantaged groups or "codes of practice" understood to help the disadvantaged, to free themselves from the discrimination by the effects of discrimination are reduced. Further measures are the creation of equal opportunities for vacancies through correct public tenders and the containment of rope teams .
The terms positive discrimination and negative discrimination
The pair of terms “positive” and “negative discrimination” is often used to differentiate between preference and disadvantage. It should be noted that, depending on the author , positive discrimination is sometimes meant in the sense of affirmative action for positive preference , a measure to promote an underrepresented, but not necessarily discriminated group (e.g. the women's quota). In 1973 , the Honecker government of the GDR began a targeted promotion movement with regard to the image and role of women in culture and the media and called this "positive discrimination against women" internally in politics. However, it can also mean that a disadvantage in the sense of a negatively assessed discrimination occurs through connection with a positive group definition ( see above ).
But a distinction is also made within sociology between “ negative ” (disadvantageous) and “ positive ” (favorable) discrimination . Both follow social role characteristics and can therefore be found everywhere, openly, covertly or even unconsciously. You can on the one hand z. B. up to racism , on the other hand up to nepotism . Its opposite, the equality , i.e. the failure to use corresponding characteristics, for example within the framework of an organization, to enforce and maintain, is a question of power . Since value judgments from different references ( gender , class , religion , ethnicity , kinship, etc.) collide here, ideologization must always be expected in the accompanying disputes .
Criticism of the affirmative action approach
Critics of affirmative action argue that, as a result of an ever-expanding list of anti-discriminatory laws, affirmative action , and multicultural , egalitarian immigration regulations, even the smallest area of American society is regulated by forced integration, leading to increased social and ethnic and ethnic conflicts moral-cultural tensions lead.
Non-discriminatory use of language
In order not to reduce people linguistically to a certain characteristic and group affiliation and to emphasize human similarities, attempts are occasionally made in different ways to prevent negative connotations associated with the ascribing terms , e.g. B. by replacing terms that are perceived as hurtful with new word creations.
Example : Terms like “person with a disability” replace terms like “disabled person”. Feminist linguistics , which developed concepts for non-sexist gender -equitable language , emerged as part of women's studies . This tries e.g. B. to implement the " Bible in righteous language ".
For reporting on criminal offenses, Section 12.1 of the “Press Code” of the “ German Press Council ” recommends : “In reporting on criminal offenses, the allegiance of the suspect or perpetrator to religious, ethnic or other minorities is only mentioned if there is a clear understanding of the incident reported there is a justifiable factual reference. ”Because the mere mention of distinguishing features can confirm prejudices.
The article Political Correctness gives more examples of how to avoid social discrimination through speaking and writing.
Criticism of such efforts
The criticism of efforts to use non-discriminatory language can be divided into two lines of argument. On the one hand, critics of so-called "political correctness" generally reject these language regulations, on the other hand, critics demand that non-discriminatory use of language must go hand in hand with reflections on the efficiency of other speaking and writing.
It is controversial which forms of other speaking and writing should be considered legitimate and effective, whether the intelligibility of texts and statements is preserved and whether freedom of expression is impaired by the compulsion to speak and write differently .
Proponents of a “more robust language” accuse their opponents of practicing Political Correctness (PC) and being overly sensitive. Linguistic PC efforts would only have temporary success (cf. the " euphemism treadmill ") and make a constant exchange necessary, because emotional reservations and aversions to certain groups attached themselves to the new linguistic term relatively quickly.
A common observation is that stable prejudices quickly pass over to the more and more rigorously constructed and enforced 'neutral' substitute terms. The theory of collective symbolism makes it clear that simply replacing terms does not necessarily deprive them of their socially discriminatory content, since the socially discriminatory (racist, sexist, disabled-hostile, ...) images and meanings can also be transferred to the new terms.
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- For example Stephan Lessenich uses the term positive discrimination in basic welfare state terms: historical and current discourses , Campus, 2003, ISBN 3-593-37241-X , p. 63 as a generic term for affirmative action .
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For example: Michael Baurmann In: The market of virtue: Law and morality in the liberal society. Mohr Siebeck 2000, ISBN 3-16-147312-4 , p. 527.
Jakob Schissler, Hartmut Wasser, Werner Kremp: “May race be the constitutional basis for state action; Doesn't the principle of “color blindness” apply to “affirmative action” - compensatory measures? Doesn't “positive discrimination” mean “negative discrimination” for black people at the same time? ” In: USA: Wirtschaft. Society. Politics. S. 185.
Elisabeth Dessai: slave, male, female. Delp, 1970, ISBN 3-7689-0070-3 , p. 91 uses positive discrimination in the sense of temporary preference for women in order to reduce discrimination.
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- In Germany, the extension of Art. 3 GG in the direction of equality and Section 5 of the General Equal Treatment Act regulate this case; In Austria, these are regulated in the Federal Act on Equal Treatment in Sections 8, 22, 33, 48.
- Hans-Hermann Hoppe, in: "Democracy - The God that Failed, Studies in the Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy, and Natural Order" : As a result of an ever expanding list of non-discrimination - "affirmative action" - laws and non-discriminatory - multicultural-egalitarian - immigration policies, every nook and cranny of American society is affected by forced integration, and accordingly, social strife and racial, ethnic, and moral-cultural tension and hostility have increased dramatically.
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