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York University (12,350)
HRM 3450 (16)
Ron Ophir (16)

Theories and Thinking about Diversity

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York University
Human Resources Management
HRM 3450
Ron Ophir

Chapter 2 • Minority or non-dominant groups are not necessarily fewer in number than majority or dominant groups • Categorization and stereotyping are often unconscious processes, which alone are not necessarily negative • People tend to attribute positive characteristics to members of their in-groups and negative characteristics to members of groups to which they do not belong • Structured interviews can reduce the effects of similarity bias in selection Minority or Dominant Group • Those subordinated to majority or dominant groups members in terms of power, prestige and privilege  E.g. In South African, Whites are the dominant group, although they are outnumbered by people of colour • Minority group members have four common characteristics (Dworkin)  Identifiability  Differential power  The experience of discrimination  Group awareness o These characteristics help clarify which groups are minority groups but they are not definitive. o Sometimes, they do not apply to some non-dominant groups or are otherwise insufficient, as for those with invisible identities and for individuals with power who are also non-dominant group members o In certain situations, there are disconnects between the group to which a person appears to belong and his or her self-identity.  Incongruence of phenotype (visible identity) and culture identities • Mexican American with Caucasian physical features identifying with the Mexican American culture. Identifiability For subordinating systems to work, minority and majority group members must possess distinguishing physical or cultural traits that make it possible to single them out for differential treatment (discrimination and segregation) • Dominant groups devise means to identify non-dominant groups if the members have no distinguishing features  Nazis made Jews wear yellow stars • Non-dominant group members who cannot be clearly identified may experience some problems as well Differential Power “The actual use of resources to influence and control others.” • Allows those who have more power to control those who have less power • Larger numbers of one group, are not always the most powerful • Power helps the dominant remain dominant Discrimination Differential and pejorative actions that serve to limit the social, political or economic opportunities of member of particular groups. • Gender based pay discrimination limits the social, political and economic opportunities of women • Through access discrimination, the social, political and economic opportunities of Blacks are limited Group Awareness • The final characteristic of minority groups • Is one consequence of their subordination by the majority and its discriminatory practices.  The unfair treatment minority groups experience leads them to realize that they are subjected to differential treatment simply because of their group membership and that this treatment is a result of the majority’s definitions and evaluations rather than to any intrinsic qualities or actions of their group. Categorization and Identity Prejudice • “Irrationally based, negative attitudes” about certain groups and their members • Is an attitude whereas discrimination is a behaviour based on the attitude • Discriminatory behaviour may result from prejudice  Employers may have negative attitudes towards overweight people and these attitudes may result in refusal to hire them (employment discrimination) Stereotypes • The overgeneralization of characteristics to large human groups • Basis for prejudice and discrimination Prescriptive Stereotyping • Perceptions about how people should behave, based on their group memberships  Women should wear makeup Descriptive stereotyping • Ideas about how people do or will behave, based on their group memberships  Women are caring and therefore appropriate as nurses and elementary school teachers In a job-related context, stereotyping can prevent individuals who would be capable, committed workers from being hired, promoted or trained. • Stereotypes can lead to prejudice, which can lead to discrimination Social Categorization and Stereotyping • Social cognitive theory suggests that people use categorization to simplify and cope with the large volumes of information to which they are continually exposed.  SCHEMAS • Mental models of a person suited to a particular job (bank teller or truck driver) are often associated with sex, and sorting of candidates by sex occurs as a result of such models. • People’s tendency to categorize, coupled with the need to then evaluate the person categorized, leads to stereotyping. • People also have a tendency to perceive THEMSELVES and others as belonging to particular groups.  Referred to as social categorization • Ordering one’s social environment by groupings of persons In-group  the group to which a person belongs Out-group  groups to which a person does not belong Social Identity • The part of an individual’s self-concept that derives from his or her membership in a particular social group and the value and emotional significance attached to that group membership. Consequences of Social Categorization and Social Identity • The tendency to categorize others as belonging to an in-group or an out- group, when we first come into contact with them, can affect job satisfaction and the relationships among supervisors, subordinates and peers  In-group  heterogeneous  Out-group  homogeneous In-group favouritism and out-group biases • In-group favouritism in a work setting can result in the hiring, promoting and rewarding by those in power (the dominant group)
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