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Poverty and Discrimination

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Social Policy Prejudice and Discrimination Although the terms 'prejudice' and 'discrimination' appear to share the same generic meaning, there are subtle differences between the two. The Oxford Dictionary defines prejudice as 'a preconceived opinion, bias or partiality,' whereas discrimination is termed as 'unfavourable treatment based on prejudice.' (Fowler et al 1998) It could be said that although prejudice is a passive notion based around though, influence or bias, discrimination is to consciously act in a certain manner because of preconceived ideologies or beliefs which are then projected onto a third party. Because discrimination is where members of a defined group are treated differently because of their social difference, this is usually based upon features such as race, ethnicity, gender and disability. (Jary et al 2000) Racial discrimination is commonly defined as; ''a set of beliefs, ideologies and social processes that discriminate against others on the basis of their supposed membership of a 'racial' group.''(Jary et al 2000) Referring to 'systems of thought' which justify the biological superiority of one social group over another on grounds of colour. Other types of prejudice and discrimination are prevalent within any society or social structure, a particular one being discrimination on the grounds of gender. Although historically speaking, men have always taken the monopoly over women when attaining positions of power, the last thirty five years have culminated in legislation which protects women's rights to gain the same social status. ...read more.


(Haralambos, 2000) The aim of the initial act was to make racial equality an integral part of the way that all public organisations and societies operate, by placing it as of paramount importance in employment law. Any public discrimination by companies whilst carrying out business functions was made unlawful with the implementation of the original 1975 act, along with the obligation that any procedures would not have a discriminatory influence on particular ethnic groups. The Act has since been strengthened twice with additional duties placed upon organisations which are outlined in Section 71 of the Race Relations Act Amendment 2000 as being; ''to eliminate unlawful discrimination; to promote equality of opportunity and to promote good relations between people of different racial groups.'' (Cited by (www.referrersguide.com) In order to fulfil this new criteria, public bodies would be obligated to identify which of their functions were relevant and to prioritise them on grounds of racial equality, and to consider how these policies may need to be changed to protect the Race Relations Act. (www.referrersguide.com) It also states its primary objective is to improve public services for everyone by eliminating discrimination and promoting racial equality. The Act was further amended in 2003 to include informal as well as formal procedures and that the 'burden of proof' is shifted onto the discriminator to prove they did not commit the offence once an allegation has been made. ...read more.


However the site does relay that around 50 undergraduate and postgraduate bursaries have been awarded to exceptional students in the UK, Caribbean, and South Africa to date. (www.stephenlawrence.org.uk) The Trust is designed to be a fully functioning hub of support, also offering information on training, guidance and mentoring for disadvantaged young people who then gain access to state of the art facilities such as computer suites, multimedia labotories and digital and design studios. Other sources of funding come from hosting exhibitions, seminars and artist viewings. (www.mcserver.gold.ac.uk) It is clear that the trustees, patrons and family of Stephen Lawrence aim to make the centre an exciting groundbreaking project which embraces both community and the disadvantaged young person. However, their range of initiatives are in line with Stephens own personal goals and may not reach far enough to convert to noticeable improvements in the lives of Deptford's youngsters. The careers of architecture and design are specialised and highly skilled jobs that may not appeal to the majority in a socially deprived stronghold, whose desire it maybe to obtain quick efficient training that could lead to any quick steady employment. Despite these criticisms it is still clear that the name of Stephen Lawrence will continue to live on in the minds of the British people as a murder that finally changed UK legislation and that because of his death came opportunities and life changing chances for those just like him. ...read more.

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