Stealing Bread and Sleeping Beneath Bridges: Indirect Discrimination as Disadvantageous Equal Treatment

Frej Klem Thomsen

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Abstract

The article analyses the concept of indirect discrimination, arguing first that existing conceptualizations are unsatisfactory and second that it is best understood as equal treatment that is disadvantageous to the discriminatees because of their group membership. I explore four ways of further refining the definition, arguing that only an added condition of moral wrongness is at once plausible and helpful, but that it entails a number of new problems that may outweigh its benefits. Finally, I suggest that the moral wrongness of indirect discrimination is best accounted for in terms of the harm it does to discriminatees and sketch three ways in which it may do so. I conclude that the analysis provides both a clearer understanding of the concept of indirect discrimination as well as indirect support for a harm-based account of the wrongness of discrimination, while suggesting that our moral obligations qua non-discrimination may be more extensive than is frequently assumed.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMoral Philosophy and Politics
Vol/bind2
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)299–327
ISSN2194-5616
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2015

Bibliografisk note

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