Deconstructing Discrimination takes an anthropological, sociological, social psychological, and historical perspective to understand the root of discrimination and the possibility of social and institutional change. A first step to perceiving how a situation or institution can change is to understand how that situation arose. How does one group of people become subordinated by and to another group? How do people start to differentiate between themselves and 'the other' so as to create these social categories - such as 'black' vs. 'white' person or 'homosexual' vs. 'heterosexual' person - in the first place? The construction of social systems of classification, which designate inclusion vs. exclusion, will be a major theme in this work. Deconstructing Discrimination moreover examines the role played by individuals involved in the process of societal change. Individual dissenters become mobilized into mass movements. What reactions can be expected when a minority has set itself apart and pulls into question the social structures in which the majority feels comfortable? The dialectic between two competing paradigms that takes place in times of change can be observed throughout the chapter. Furthermore, the discourse of discrimination will be analyzed. An important question of this thesis is: How can discriminatory practices and attitudes towards a particular, classified group of people eventually change? The first chapter will provide theories on the social construction of reality - including classification systems and identities - and how societies deal with differences and with change. The next two chapters will provide historical case examples of institutional and social change. The first of these chapters deals with the abolition of slavery in America. A specific focus on religious change will be taken. The final chapter of the thesis will focus on the current conflict about homosexuality in the church.