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Maurizio Ambrosini, University of Milan, editor of the journal “Mondi migranti” Racism and discrimination.

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Presentation on theme: "Maurizio Ambrosini, University of Milan, editor of the journal “Mondi migranti” Racism and discrimination."— Presentation transcript:

1 Maurizio Ambrosini, University of Milan, editor of the journal “Mondi migranti” Racism and discrimination

2 From classification to prejudice Knowledge develops abstracting, generalizing, classifying objects into categories In general this is a physiological activity, enabling us to spare time and energies But, applied to groups of human being, operating on the basis of such indicators as the physical appearance, nationality or religion, this attitude fosters stereotypes and prejudice Stereotype: a rigid, standardized, often stigmatizing representation, collectively applied to a human group “An economy of the mind, becoming an avarice of the heart” (Mazzara)

3 Classical or scientific racism “classical” racism claimed scientific, biological basis. It was connected to the Enlightenment, to the birth of modern science and to the European colonial expansion. “Naturalization” of inequalities and supremacy It offered powerful cultural tools to the justification of the domination over other people and nations It was completely discredited after the Nazi experience and the Second World War

4 Cultural or “differentiating” racism It is the modern form of racism It derives its arguments from its enemies It preaches the respect for people’s cultures But it affirms the necessity to preserve integrity and uniqueness of the different national cultures So, each culture is legitimized in its own territory Culture is treated as nature: it is not possible to change or mix it with other cultures Hybridity is condemned (“mixophoby”)

5 Popular racism It is a low cost form of “distinction”, accessible to everyone It gives a meaning of superiority on the only basis of national belonging (“masters in hour home”) It fosters scapegoating processes It answers to the fear of social devaluation It answers to the need of asserting social distances from people perceived as inferior

6 Discrimination It refers to actual behaviours: the different or unequal treatment of people on the basis of their physical appearance, national origin, opinions or religion So, it can be dissociated from racism: there are forms of discrimination without racism (for instance, in the institutional setting), and forms of prejudice without actual discrimination

7 Types of discrimination 1) direct, explicit discrimination 2) indirect or implicit discrimination 3) institutional discrimination 4) statistical discrimination

8 Six forms of discrimination at work In the access to employment (more unemployed) In employment contracts (more precarious and atypical positions) In concentration by sectors and occupations (lower tiers of labour markets) In careers In exposure to accidents and diseases related to work In the access to self-employment

9 The three D jobs Dirty Dangerous Demanding

10 Struggling against discrimination A certain amount of discrimination is connected with the functioning of market economies: the employer’s freedom to choose her/his workers is a root of discrimination Certain forms of discrimination find rational explanation: the competition for scarce resources (e.g.: skilled jobs) Other forms of discrimination are connected with “civic stratification”: national citizens/ European Union citizens/ Third country national with different statuses (long-term residents; temporary residents; irregular sojourners) Given this, there are more possibilities to counteract discrimination in regular employment than in wider society: laws, ethical codes, courts, trade-unions….

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