Host of the Conference

WHO Kobe Centre
Tel: (+81)78-230-3100
Fax: (+81)78-230-3178
1-5-1 Wakinohama-Kaigandori
Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-0073


Secretariat for GFUH2010
(For Registration, Accommodation, etc.)
c/o Convention Linkage
Tel: (+81) 6-6377-2188
Fax: (+81) 6-6377-2075
PIAS TOWER 11F, 3-19-3
Toyosaki, Kita-ku
Osaka 531-0072

Useful Links

Kobe city
Official Kobe Tourism site



In human social behavior, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include age, caste, colour, criminal record, height, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity, generation, genetic characteristics, marital status, nationality, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Discrimination consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, "in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated". It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual's actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making.

Age discrimination in hiring has been shown to exist in the United States. Joanna Lahey, professor at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M, found that firms are more than 40% more likely to interview a young adult job applicant than an older job applicant. In Europe, Stijn Baert, Jennifer Norga, Yannick Thuy and Marieke Van Hecke, researchers at Ghent University, measured comparable ratios in Belgium. They found that age discrimination is heterogeneous by the activity older candidates undertook during their additional post-educational years. In Belgium, they are only discriminated if they have more years of inactivity or irrelevant employment.

Another noteworthy example of linguistic discrimination is the backdrop to the Bengali Language Movement in erstwhile Pakistan, a political campaign that played a key role in the creation of Bangladesh. In 1948, Mohammad Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as the national language of Pakistan and branded those supporting the use of Bengali, the most widely spoken language in the state, as enemies of the state.

Regional or geographic discrimination is discrimination based on the region in which a person lives or was born. It differs from national discrimination in that it may not be based on national borders or the country in which the victim lives, instead, it is based on prejudices against a specific region of one or more countries. Examples include discrimination against Chinese who were born in regions of the countryside that are far away from cities that are located within China, and discrimination against Americans who are from the southern or northern regions of the United States. It is often accompanied by discrimination based on accent, dialect, or cultural differences.

Though gender discrimination and sexism refer to beliefs and attitudes in relation to the gender of a person, such beliefs and attitudes are of a social nature and do not, normally, carry any legal consequences. Sex discrimination, on the other hand, may have legal consequences. Though what constitutes sex discrimination varies between countries, the essence is that it is an adverse action taken by one person against another person that would not have occurred had the person been of another sex. Discrimination of that nature is considered a form of prejudice and in certain enumerated circumstances is illegal in many countries.

In addition, women are found to experience a sticky floor. While a glass ceiling implies that women are less like to reach the top of the job ladder, a sticky floor is defined as the pattern that women are, compared to men, less likely to start to climb the job ladder. A sticky floor is related to gender differences at the bottom of the wage distribution. It might be explained by both employer discrimination and gender differences in career aspirations.

Discrimination in slasher films is relevant. Gloria Cowan had a research group study on 57 different slasher films. Their results showed that the non-surviving females were more frequently sexual than the surviving females and the non-surviving males. Surviving as a female slasher victim was strongly associated with the absence of sexual behavior. In slasher films, the message appears to be that sexual women get killed and only the pure women survive, thus reinforcing the idea that female sexuality can be costly.

Some attempts at antidiscrimination have been criticized as reverse discrimination. In particular, minority quotas (for example, affirmative action) may discriminate against members of a dominant or majority group or other minority groups. In its opposition to race preferences, the American Civil Rights Institute's Ward Connerly stated, "There is nothing positive, affirmative, or equal about 'affirmative action' programs that give preference to some groups based on race."

Social theories such as egalitarianism assert that social equality should prevail. In some societies, including most developed countries, each individual's civil rights include the right to be free from government sponsored social discrimination. Due to a belief in the capacity to perceive pain or suffering shared by all animals, "abolitionist" or "vegan" egalitarianism maintains that the interests of every individual (regardless its species), warrant equal consideration with the interests of humans, and that not doing so is "speciesist".

It is debated as to whether or not markets discourage discrimination brought about by the state. One argument is that since discrimination restricts access to customers and incurs additional expense, market logic will punish discrimination. Opposition by companies to "Jim Crow" segregation laws is an example of this. An alternative argument is that markets don't necessarily undermine discrimination, as it is argued that if discrimination is profitable by catering to the "tastes" of individuals (which is the point of the market), then the market will not punish discrimination. It is argued that microeconomic analysis of discrimination uses unusual methods to determine its effects (using explicit treatment of production functions) and that the very existence of discrimination in employment (defined as wages which differ from marginal product of the discriminated employees) in the long run contradicts claims that the market will function well and punish discrimination.