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DISCRIMINATION GLOSSARY

Bias is an unfair act, policy, belief, or conclusion stemming from prejudice.

Bias incident is conduct, speech or expression that is motivated by bias or prejudice but doesn't involve a criminal act. Bias incidents may, however, violate campus codes or policies. Check your campus to see what anti-harassment policies exist.

Bigotry is an obstinate and unreasoning attachment to one's own beliefs and opinions; narrow-minded intolerance of opposing beliefs and opinions.

Discrimination is behavior that treats people unequally because of their group memberships. Discriminatory behavior, ranging from slights to hate crimes, often begins with negative stereotypes and prejudices.

Gender* is a cultural notion of what it is to be a woman or a man; a construct based on the social shaping of femininity and masculinity. It usually includes identification with males as a class or with females as a class. Gender includes subjective concepts about character traits and expected behaviors that vary from place to place and person to person.

Hate crime is the occurrence of a crime, such as physical assault, intimidation, arson, or vandalism, motivated by bias.

Homophobia is defined by thoughts, feelings, or actions based on fear, dislike, judgment, or hatred of gay men and lesbians/of those who love and sexually desire those of the same sex. Homophobia has roots in sexism and can include prejudice, discrimination, harassment, and acts of violence.

Prejudice is an opinion, prejudgment or attitude about a group or its individual members. A prejudice can be positive, but in our usage refers to a negative attitude. Prejudices are often accompanied by ignorance, fear or hatred. Prejudices are formed by a complex psychological process that begins with attachment to a close circle of acquaintances or an "in-group" such as a family. Prejudice is often aimed at "out-groups."

Racism* is the systematic mistreatment of people of color based on the belief in the inherent superiority of one race and thereby the right to dominance. Racism is one manifestation of institutionalized differences in economic, social, and political power in which members of some ethnic and cultural groups benefit at the expense of others.

Religious discrimination is behavior that treats people unequally because of their religious beliefs.

Sexism* is the systematic economic, sexual, educational, physical, and other oppression of women as a group; the exploitation and social domination of members of one sex by another.

Stereotype* is an exaggerated belief, image or distorted truth about a person or group - a generalization that allows for little or no individual differences or social variation.


 Check out other related definitions.

* Terms Compliments of Writing for Change: 1.14 Developing Definitions

* All terms compliments of Tolerance.org

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