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Psychological Impact Paper - Racism

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This paper examines the unique setting of psychological changes that effect individuals in their everyday activity. I will evaluate three sociopolitical factors. The factors I have chosen to discuss are racism, sexism, and stereotyping. With these factors I will describe their potential impact on the psychological development, distress, and behavior on a culturally diverse individual. Sociopolitical factors impacts the way individuals behave and their emotional state.


Racism is defined as the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. One of the most critical issues that the United States still faces today is racism. Many people are not aware that racism is still a major force and it exists in our workforce as well as our schools. Racism effects society and has transgressed with mankind over the years. Cultural difference between various societies around the world was one of the reasons for abetting racism. Racism is pervasive in the American community and remains a road block that closes doors of opportunity to those being discriminated against. Members of ethnic and racial oppressed minorities struggle for equal opportunities in education, workforce, and housing.

Racism's effects on health and well-being may occur through multiple pathways. According to Williams, Lavizzo-Mournay, and Warren (1994), it can contribute to discrepancies in socioeconomic status (which result in differential health outcomes), it can create differential exposures to risk factors and available resources (for example, the quality and quantity of medical care), and it can adversely affect psychological or physiological functioning.

The United States education system is still one of the most unequal in the industrialized world. People of ethnic decent tend to dramatically receive different learning opportunities base on their social status. There seems to be no focus on the negative impact on societal factors such as racism, poverty, and urbanization on the educational process. Racism is still rampant in the area of employment. People of color are the least hired among people of other races. They are also the first to be let go. Jobs that people of color historically held are now disappearing. Affirmative action programs are not strictly enforced and it causes people of color to be left behind in decision making and administrative positions. Affirmative action has also caused conflict and polarity amongst employees. Many minorities suffer from paying high rents for less adequate living situations. Mortgage and lending institutions often get in trouble for practice of redlining. It has been found that there is discrimination amongst African Americans and Hispanics by landlords, real estate agencies' and, financial institutes. One of the practices often used is steering. Steering hinders racial and ethnic groups from buying or renting in specific neighborhoods.


Sexism has always been an issue for woman. Sexism is defined as the discrimination on the basis of sex, esp. the oppression of women by men. It is a form of discrimination based on gender. Many people use the



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