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Experiencing discrimination: understanding the psychological consequences for victims

by CIFAR Sep 19 / 13
Many people assume that members of disadvantaged groups are “overly ready” to attribute negative experiences to discrimination — to play the “victim card.”

However, this is generally untrue because it is psychologically painful and socially costly for disadvantaged groups to believe their life outcomes are determined by pervasive discrimination. Studies assessing experiences of racism, sexism, heterosexism and rejection based on physical disability reveal the negative well-being consequences of perceiving discrimination. Thus by strengthening minority identity and creating a sense of belonging, we can help alleviate the harm of experiencing discrimination.

A presentation by CIFAR Senior Fellow Nyla Branscombe (University of Kansas) at the Building Better Lives & Communities symposium on Sept. 19, 2013.