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Need opinions for paper on diversity and discrimination
October 23, 2001
1:41 pm
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luckigirly
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I need opinions or personal stories or good websites/ reading material on why people discriminate against those who are different from themselves. It is my thesis for a paper
Thank you
You can post here or email me at [email protected]

October 24, 2001
12:28 am
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scherza
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Opinion: People fear others that are different from them.... This fear induces a fight or flight reaction which is manifested through controlling behaviors. Therefore people often feel the need to control that which they do not understand to feel safe and familiar with their surroundings again.

You could do ethnomethodoligic experiments to test this by disrupting a group's known norms and assuptions intentionally and observing the reactions you will get. I am willing to bet they will mostly be hostile...and that some people will be completely unaware of this and will veheminently deny it...depending on what you have done. The further from the norms you get, the more confidence the group will get in ousting you. They will even join together in unison to see that you leave...and feel gratified that they have acomplished their goal!

I think that people fear change and others that are different than they are. I am included in this group, except I think that I am more consciously aware of it than the average person.

I took this course once that was really boring and we had to do these group exercises. Everyone had square or round or formal seating arrangements.... When it was my turn, I had everyone leave their books in the classroom and sit outside in the grass in any old way they wanted to. They argued about how everyone should sit. I proceeded to take my shirt off and sit in the sun in my bra. The group clustered away from me in the shade as I sunned myself for an hour, saying nothing. They spent the hour analyzing me about my hostility towards my parents...and came up with elaborate theories about why I must be doing what I was doing.

At the end, the professor demanded an explanation. I told her that it was an exercise in laissez-faire group anarchy behavior. I did get an A in the course, BTW...!

October 24, 2001
1:21 pm
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eve
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I’ll give you my two cents. I think that what most people want most of all: *The world should be like they think it is*.
I don’t think that people basically want the world to be good, or peaceful, or understandable. But the world in general and especially people inhabiting the world should be like we expect them to be. This doesn’t make much sense when you think about it. Yet – when you observe people then you will realize that this explains a lot of ‚odd‘ behaviours.
Did you ever realize that there is a special way of saying that somebody is *different* – it sometimes is a very polite form of saying – hey, I’m pretty annoyed by this person and I think this person is doing wrong things.

I think the only way to fight this inborn proneness to discrimination is this: try to educate as many people as possible (starting whith ourselfs) that the world is a diverse and colourful place. Diversity has a lot of advantages and being able to expect and treasure diversity is a good starting point for everything.

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