Brief 23: Discrimination in Everyday Behavior

 Election TimeNot Election time
CoethnicLowest pricesLowest prices
Non-Coethnic CopartisanLow pricesMedium prices
Non-Coethnic Non-CopartisanHigh pricesMedium prices
  • Elections do not just affect elite competition – the political contest permeates ordinary behavior between citizens typically considered to be outside the realm of politics. If electoral competition trickles down into ordinary economic activities and induces discrimination on partisan lines, it provides a clue as to why elections are often destabilizing at the citizen level.
  • Policy-makers and scholars are often over-focused on ethnic cleavages as a source of societal tension. The root of discrimination may not have anything to do with ethnic differences, but differences related to a different and coinciding group competition. Policy-makers should consider other identities that coincide with ethnic cleavages before labeling tensions as ethnic.
  • Where prices are not fixed, a negative consequence is that discrimination based on group-identity is able to occur. Events affecting group cleavages exacerbate discrimination.