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Stoez and Karger (2014) write in chapter four of their book American Social Welfare Policy: A Pluralist Perspective that discrimination is a severe problem in practically every country throughout the world. According to the authors, poverty and discrimination are linked to social welfare in American culture.
Discrimination can be classified roughly into psychological, economic, and normative cultural causes. Racism, for example, is a sort of prejudice in which people are judged based on the color of their skin. As a result, racism has led to poverty among African Americans and Hispanic Americans. The reason for this is that the Blacks and the Hispanics are not given the same treatment in the job market as compared to whites.
Sexism, ageism and discrimination based on an individual’s gender are also problems in the U.S. Discrimination based on a person sex has been fuelled by myths, and women are the most affected with this form of discrimination. Homosexuals also face discrimination since they are not accorded the same treatment as compared to heterosexuals. The aged and people living with disabilities also face discrimination as they are considered a burden. Most of the disabled are unemployed because they are regarded as unproductive. As well, they are not offered employment opportunities because the employers do not want to pay more to cater for their health insurance covers.
There have been attempts to address discrimination against people with disabilities as stipulated in the Fourteenth Amendment Act of the Constitution (Stoez & Karger, 2014). For instance, an employer must provide suitable working conditions for those living with disabilities. Furthermore, there have also been attempts to address racial, economic and all other forms of discrimination. These efforts include equal treatment to everybody and affirmative action. The affirmative action states that minority groups and women should be given opportunities with regards to their proportion in the population.
In conclusion, discrimination is a major problem not only in the U.S but also in other parts of the world. As compared to other groups, women experience discrimination the most. The effects of all forms of discrimination are poverty. As a result, social welfare programs are developed to address such effects of discrimination. As a final point, there have also been attempts to address the root causes of discrimination. Such efforts include equal treatment to everyone and affirmative action plans.
Stoesz, D. & Karger, H. J. (2014). American Social Welfare Policy: A Pluralist Approach. 7th edition. Pearson Education, Inc. Prentice Hall.
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