The Society for the
Psychological
Study of Social Issues

    

Contributed by Susan Goldstein, University of Redlands

Institutional Discrimination Exercise

As a group, discuss each of the following situations and determine:

  1. which policies listed are forms of institutional discrimination, that is SYSTEMATIC discrimination against a particular group of people,
  2. against what group(s), if any, does the policy discriminate,
  3. what is the purpose of each of the policies below,
  4. if the purpose is a valid one, how else might it be achieved.

1. Children of alumni receive preference for admission into some private colleges.

2. Persons accused of a crime who cannot post bail are imprisoned and thus appear in court dressed in prison uniform, often in handcuffs.

3. An employment agency advertises for an "All-American type" to fill a public relations position.

4. Employees of a particular university are allowed free tuition, as are their spouses.

5. A corporation decides to fill an opening "in-house" rather than advertise.

6. A teacher requires an oral presentation as part of the final grade.

7. A public hearing is held on the third floor of building without elevators.

8. A Caucasian actor is chosen to play the part of an Asian man.

9. The YWCA/YMCA offers a reduced family membership rate.

10. A fire department requires that applicants for the position of firefighter be 5'8" or taller.

A game manual, sample game cards, originals for transparencies used during the game, and facilitator information sheets are available for $4 (which includes materials, shipping and handling).

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                                                                                                                    - Kurt Lewin