Tag Archives: Discrimination

When OK to Discriminate?

Two days ago I asked 8 related questions via Twitter. Here is one:

The rest of the questions made one of two changes. One change was to swap the type of choice from work/life to “producer (P) of a good or service to choose its customers (or price), or for a consumer (C) to choose from whom it buys”. The other change was to swap the choice basis from “political views or ideology” to “age”, “sex/gender”, or “race/ethnicity”. Here is the table of answer percentages (and total votes):

(Column “W not L” means “P not C” for relevant rows. Matching tweets, by table row #: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.)

While the people who answered my poll are not a random sample of my nation or planet, I still think we can draw some tentative conclusions:

1) People are consistently more forgiving of discrimination in living spaces relative to work, and by consumers relative to producers. Almost no one is willing to allow it for work/producers, and yet not for living/consumers.

2) Opinion varies a lot. Aside from the empty column just described, most other answers get substantial support. Thought it seems few are against using age or sex/gender to choose who you live with.

3) Some kinds of bases are more accepted than others. Support was weakest for discrimination using race/ethnicity, and strongest for using age.

4) There seems to be more support for treating work and living mates differently than for treating producers and consumers differently.

Of course we’d learn more from a large poll asking more specific questions.

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