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Discrimination research papers show that discrimination is a double edged sword. In a research paper on discrimination, you want to be sure to show both sides of the issue and how each camp sees the problem.

Discrimination is a viable method of making decisions in all walks of life, we discriminate between things every day. However, our society has determined that some types of discrimination are harmful and unjust. When we are selecting food for our tables, we choose visually appealing, fresh, new produce, ripened fruit, and aged cheeses. It can be said that the items we did not select have been discriminated against in that they have been denied the opportunity to be taken home, prepared, and eaten, thus fulfilling their potential. Though few would stand up and say that this type of discrimination is wrong or hurtful to food items, many do so when it is applied to humans. Women, in particular, have experienced arbitrary and unjust limitations on their individual and collective potential for millennia. For a host of reasons, women have been categorically denied the opportunities afforded to men throughout history. Our current society continues to place these types of limitations on women in access to societies benefits, within social expectations, and in their ability to develop individually.

Common Types of Discrimination

Among the definitions listed in Merriam-Webster's 1995 Collegiate Dictionary for the noun discrimination is prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment. Considering the complexity and diversity of human society, it comes as no surprise to discover many different forms of discrimination. What follows is a look at three well-known cases of ill-natured social discrimination followed by a cure suggestion for each.

The most common types of discrimination are:

  1. Discrimination based on Gender
  2. Discrimination based on Race
  3. Discrimination based on Age

Historically, women have been almost universally denied access to the benefits of society. In these contexts, women have been treated as possessions. As such, women have been unable to achieve individuality. Instead, they have been forced to become attachments to their parents or husbands, but not unique individuals. Familial power has traditionally settled on the man's shoulders and society has expected that the woman should defer to the man. The result of these expectations has been to demonstrate wide social disapproval of women who do not meet them. Denial of access to women supports traditional male roles. Though women have demonstrated equal and superior ability to perform in all of the traditionally male environments, their presence remains as a threat to men.

Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination has been at the forefront of discrimination battles in American law and society for decades, if not longer. The conflict is not confined to discrimination against minorities such as African Americans or Hispanics, but also involves Caucasian charges of reverse discrimination in heated topics such as Affirmative Action. Lately, persons of Arabic decent have become victims of discrimination as a result of the on-going terrorist wars. What perpetuates the issue, to a degree, is that there are two sides involved with each pointing fingers of accusation at the other. Laws are passed addressing many of the ills of American racial discrimination but the cure is not to be found in courts alone. With each new generation of American youth, the old generation imparts some of their prejudiced views. Schools need to work harder at exposing children of all races to the other races in America. To an extent, the entertainment industry must take on a more responsible role in not stereotyping whites, blacks, and other groups. When the fear of the other race departs, anger and hate leave with it and understanding sets in. At the same time, a zero tolerance code for laws against racial discrimination must be enforced.

Discrimination based upon one's gender is also an ongoing problem in America. On one side of the issue stands the hard-line feminist; on the other side stands what the feminist perceives as the yet dominant male population. The arenas for these charges range from job discrimination in the Armed Forces to America's churches. The cure for this problem is simple; if the person can satisfactorily perform all aspects of a given job, that person should be equally considered for employment as any other applicant - regardless of gender. Laws should be passed to enforce this code of impartiality. At the same time, privately funded organizations should retain the right to run their affairs as they see fit. Both chauvinist and militant feminist alike should be exposed to sensitivity training at the work place or school.

Finally, America has reached a unique place in time where a majority of its citizens are gray or graying. Age discrimination often gets swept under the rug in the face of the perceived larger issues of race and gender discrimination. For example, should a high school hire a twenty-two year old female over a sixty year old man with the same qualifications for the same teaching position? Though the sixty-year-old undoubtedly carries a wealth of experience and maturity, the odds are that in the majority of cases, the twenty-two year old would be hired. To solve this on-going problem, courts such as the Supreme Court, should take on more cases of age discrimination and make an example of them in order to send a message violators and perpetrators should expect heavy legal consequences.

These are only three types of social discrimination. In each there are factors of two opposing sides and government intervention. However, the cure for each resides in changing the way all individuals perceive Americans of differing races, gender, or age. The ultimate answer to discrimination rests in the individual, parents, the mass media, and schools.

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