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Definitions

· discrimination: Denying access of goods, resources, and services to members of a particular social group. Discrimination is an action that typically results from prejudice. Discrimination can occur at the individual, organizational, or societal level.

· ethnicity: Refers to membership of in a culturally- and geographically defined group that may share language, cultural practises, religion, or other aspects. Examples include Italian, Kurdish, and Bantu. People of the same race can be of different ethnicities. For example, Asians can be Japanese, Korean, Thai, or many other ethnicities.

· gender: Refers to a person's identity as a male or female

· institutional discrimination: Discrimination that occurs through educational systems, legal systems, or other public systems or services. Denying people the right to vote is a form of institutional discrimination. See also "ism."

· -ism (racism, sexism, etc.): The use of social power to systematically deny people access to resources, rights, respect, and representation on the basis of gender, race, age, income, or membership in any other group. Isms are based on the false belief that one group is superior to another group.

· nationality: Refers to country of citizenship. However, nationality is sometimes used to mean ethnicity, even though the two are technically different. People of one ethnic group do not necessarily live in one geographic location (such as an Italian living in Italy and an Italian-American living in the US). Because of this, ethnicity and nationality are not always the same.

· prejudice: A negative attitude toward a socially defined group and toward any person perceived to be a member of the group. Like biases, prejudice is a belief.

· race: Refers to physical differences of skin tone, hair texture, and facial features. Because people can be grouped by any number of physical differences (height, foot size, resistance to certain diseases), race is an artificial way to categorize people. Nonetheless, race remains an important concept because of the social and political issues that arise from it.

· socioeconomic status: Refers to differences in wealth, income, other economic resources, and social ranking.

· stereotype: an exaggerated belief, image or distorted truth about a person or group - a generalization that allows for little or no individual differences or social variation.

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