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Institutional Racism - Essay Example

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The term 'Institutional Racism' was introduced by Carmichael and Hamilton in 1968 and they saw it as 'an analytical tool to examine how institutions can operate along racist lines without acknowledging or even recognising this…
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Institutional Racism
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Extract of sample "Institutional Racism"

Download file to see previous pages This does not mean that Lockwood's theory of 'deferential worker' of the institution does not exist. One of the best definitions says:

"The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture or ethnic origin which can be seen or detected in processes; attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantages minority ethnic people." From the Macpherson report - http://www.tuc.org.uk/sltg/institutional.htm

It is also called Structural Racism and Systemic Racism that can be practised in institutions, and public organisations. Racial bias, prejudiced notions, bigotry belonging to the earlier century, blind beliefs that colour and creed make difference, race-restricted discriminations, etc. come under this category because there was role-allocation for centuries depending on racial differences.
"In race relations the deterministic and ascriptive basis of role-allocation is crucial. If individuals or groups act on the assumption that genetically determined racial differences exist and govern social behaviour the consequences for society are the same, even if the assumption has no scientific foundation in human biology," Richmond (1972, p.1).
Role- allocation has led to systematic discrimination of a particular race, separating it for security purposes, keeping the entire race away from the main stream, profiling such races for mean jobs, keeping them as slaves or bonded labourers, preventing their educational or professional advancement, not allowing them to take advantage of popular or state help, and leaving them out of the national policies are symptoms of institutional racism.
"Institutionalised racism is an indirect and largely invisible process which can be compared with cloning and the glass ceiling. It is a term encompassing the, often unintentional, barriers and selection/promotion procedures which serve to disadvantage members of ethnic minority groups" http://www.hrmguide.co.uk/hrm/racism.html
In UK, sometimes Media3 and Police Force4 are dubbed as racist institutions. But it need not be always true and correct. In the murder of Stephen Lawrence, this belief was countered as "the tragic murder of a young man and the distress of his bereaved parents have been exploited by pressure groups intent on establishing credibility for their claim that black people in Britain are victims who should be given preferential treatment"5.
In this context, the institution is considered as racist and not the individual, who might be working according to the highest ethical and accepted standards, without any partiality towards any race or colour. This type of racism could also be a part of public sector culture. In The Times, Kwame McKenzie, while commenting on institutional racism in mental health institutions, says that mental health system knows the existence of racial indifference in treatment, but had been unable to do much about it, having started to address the problem only recently and the entire system has to raise up to eradicate it, although the individual workers are not racists in any way6.
"However, in general, black British patients get worse treatment for mental health problems than white British patients. They are more likely to be treated against their will, more likely to be treated with drugs rather than psychotherapy and more likely to be treated on locked psychiatric wards"
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2012844,00.html
It has been an acknowledged fact that media, mostly has the problem of imbalanced reporting of high profile ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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