The paper "Discrimination Hurts by Huynh and Fuligni" is a delightful example of an article on sociology. The paper, ‘ Discrimination Hurts: The Academic, Psychological, and Physical Well-Being of Adolescents’ by Huynh and Fuligni study the critical factors of racism that adversely impact the overall well-being of adolescents from ethnic minority coming from Latin America, Asia, and Europe. 12th-grade students of an ethnic minority from three ethnically diverse public schools were selected. The major focus was on the frequency of peer, adult and daily discriminations that affected their development vis-à -vis academic achievement, social interaction, self-esteem and health imperatives.
It had used traditional and daily measures of discrimination. The traditional measure was defined as an accumulated report of their differential treatment based on race/ethnicity, whereas, the daily measure was in diary format where participants gave a daily account of their experience. Researchers have described racial discrimination as a treatment by peer group and adults that lead to adverse physiological and academic outcomes on ethnic minority adolescents. The findings of research establish the veracity of the claim that racial discrimination impacts adversely on academic achievements and self-esteem leading to depression, distress, and other physical ailments.
It also emphasizes that ethnic identity and ethnic socializations, as well as race sensitivity, are important elements in adjusting in a foreign land. The socio-cultural and language barrier significantly influence their level of adjustment. The females reported less discrimination as compared to their male counterparts. The Latin American youth faced more discrimination, followed by Asians and European students. While the ethnic identity of the peer group was not identified, the study, however, shows that racial prejudice against an ethnic minority has important ramifications on their well-being, including academic achievements.
Response I believe that the research on the differential treatment of ethnic minority has huge implications for contemporary society. Racial discrimination is not constitutional but it still remains a key element that not only adversely impacts the academic growth but also leads to serious health consequences. The depression, distress and most importantly the low academic achievements are hugely critical issues for the ethnic minority that is unable to integrate within the mainstream society due to prevailing racial prejudices.
The various social paradigms like ethnic socialization, ethnic identity, and racial sensitivity show that unless the people become proactive participants in eliminating the differential treatment, the constitution alone is not sufficient to bring about change or social equity. Interestingly, the study also reveals that the academic achievements of Asian immigrants may also become pertinent factors in racial discrimination as they may challenge the superiority of Whites. In the current environment of rapid globalization, racial discrimination seems to have been institutionalized to maintain the concept of superiority of Whites because it is a dominant feature of developed countries like America.
The research indeed contributes to the knowledge of factors that highlight low academic growth and regressive health consequences of ethnic adolescents. While the causal relationship between discrimination and outcome is largely ignored, it does serve as a major platform to look deeper into the reforms that must address the increasing incidence of racial discrimination within academia and across the American society.