Discrimination Revised: Reviewing the Relationship between Social Groups, Disparate Treatment, and Disparate Impact

Moral Philosophy and Politics 2 (2):219-244 (2015)
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It is usually accepted that whether or not indirect discrimination is a form of immoral discrimination, it appears to be structurally different from direct discrimination. First, it seems that either one involves the agent focusing on different things while making a decision. Second, it seems that the victim’s group membership is relevant to the outcomes of either sort of action in different ways. In virtue of these two facts, it is usually concluded that indirect discrimination is structurally different from direct discrimination. I argue against the notion that indirect discrimination and direct discrimination have significantly different structures. I first argue that both kinds of discrimination involve similar decision-making processes. Second, I analyze how being in a social group affects personal identity, and from there argue that indirect discrimination and direct discrimination are about group membership similarly. In virtue of these two arguments, I conclude that direct and indirect discrimination are structurally similar.

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Ryan Cook
California State University, Northridge

References found in this work

Discrimination.Andrew Altman - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What is discrimination?Sophia Moreau - 2010 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (2):143-179.

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