Structural discrimination is a form of institutional discrimination against individuals of a given protected characteristic such as race or gender, Caste (social stratification) which has the effect of restricting their opportunities. It may be either intentional or unintentional, and it may involve either public or private institutional policies.[1][2] Such discrimination occurs when these policies have disproportionately negative effects on the opportunities of certain social groups.[1][3][4]

Some conceptualizations of structural discrimination focus on past forms of discrimination that have resulted in present-day inequality, while others focus on policies that still exist today and can have disproportionately negative effects on minority groups.[5] One overt past example of structural discrimination was Jim Crow laws in the Southern United States, which were explicitly aimed at limiting the rights of black Americans in education, employment, and other areas of society.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b PINCUS, F. L. (1 November 1996). "Discrimination Comes in Many Forms: Individual, Institutional, and Structural". American Behavioral Scientist. 40 (2): 186–194. doi:10.1177/0002764296040002009.
  2. ^ Angermeyer, Matthias C.; Matschinger, Herbert; Link, Bruce G.; Schomerus, Georg (2014). "Public attitudes regarding individual and structural discrimination: Two sides of the same coin?". Social Science & Medicine. 103: 60–66. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.11.014. PMID 24507911.
  3. ^ Blank, Rebecca M., ed. (2004). Measuring Racial Discrimination. National Academy of Sciences. p. 63.
  4. ^ a b Corrigan, Patrick W.; Watson, Amy C.; Heyrman, Mark L.; Warpinski, Amy; Gracia, Gabriela; Slopen, Natalie; Hall, Laura L. (2005-05-01). "Structural Stigma in State Legislation". Psychiatric Services. 56 (5): 557–563. doi:10.1176/ ISSN 1075-2730.
  5. ^ Pager, D; Shepherd, H (1 January 2008). "The Sociology of Discrimination: Racial Discrimination in Employment, Housing, Credit, and Consumer Markets". Annual Review of Sociology. 34: 181–209. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.33.040406.131740. PMC 2915460. PMID 20689680.