Discrimination based on how we talk and how we sound

Does discrimination happen based on how people talk and sound? Based on accents, word choice, enunciation, emotion, etc.? In the United States, people can be judged harshly because they do not sound “American” or do not speak what a person may consider is “standard English”, or because they (often women) show emotion through voice and actions in a way considered inappropriate (but not when a…

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Sleep, health, and race/ethnicity

Sleep is inextricably tied to our health. Getting enough sleep, the amount of uninterrupted sleep, how deeply we sleep. Are our sleep patterns tied to race, gender, how we are treated, where we live, etc.–social as well as biological factors? What does the research say? This is an update to The importance of sleep and its impacts (physical and mental health) bibliography; for the most…

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Voter suppression and nonvoting is a social norm in the United States

Read this — it’s important! The United States prides itself on being a model for democracy. And, yet, widespread (and increasing) voter suppression and high rates of nonvoting have occurred for so long in the US that they have become accepted and a social norm. As a representative democracy, the US compares unfavorably with many places in the world. If you are a minority or…

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Updated: In-group bias is ingrained in humans

Adults and children–even children as young as three–“are really quick to sort themselves into … social groups and to form a preference for their in-group.” This tendency has been found in people–again, even children–across “gender, race or ethnicity, language, nationality, and religion.” Decades of research indicate that in-group favoritism occurs even when the group is based on very superficial criteria; the group does not have…

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Updated: Prejudice, discrimination and social norms

News: Donald Trump, the former President of the United States, continues to make and post derogatory statements that are based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and a host of other things. The fact that the (former) highest elected official in the United States, a position with immense influence in the U.S. and in other countries, makes and made these statements on a regular basis creates…

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Updated: The psychological origins of prejudice, discrimination, and racism

Are people “hard-wired” to discriminate based on skin color, ethnicity, religion, place of origin, gender, sexual identity, etc.? Is it hereditary? Do we have no choice? Or, is it learned? As children, are we taught to discriminate by our parents, our greater family, in school, in church, by our friends? If we learn to be racist, can we learn not to be racist? If so,…

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