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Final for Eth.125

In: Social Issues

Submitted By brianna12
Words 1644
Pages 7
Final Project
Brianna Bradshaw
ETH/125
Katria Haynes-Jenkins
University of Phoenix
September 1, 2013

Diversity is a challenging topic for me to argue, because there is so much to it. It can be both beneficial and challenging; it varies in characteristics, understanding, effectiveness to others, and acceptability from place to place as well as being an extremely debatable subject due to the variety of challenges and benefits involved. Most of the information about diversity in the United States that has helped me to better understand or relate to others in ways that I did not in the past was all mostly learned through this class’s material, however a great deal of personal experiences has been a huge contributor. Some of what I have learned is how to be more sensitive and less offensive toward others. Diversity can come in many forms: variations of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, customs, style, and age; almost anything that sets people apart and creates difference amongst a population or area. Whether people recognize it or not, diversity is everywhere. Nobody is exactly alike; everyone is different in some way or another. So many people are against the idea of diversity because they believe that one specific “group” is dominant over others, but what they don’t consider is how even the people within their own group are all different, too, in other ways. That is what I have learned about diversity: it comes in many forms and tends to be very controversial. I have also learned of the challenges derived from diversity and prejudices that can be and have been involved, and because of what I’ve learned, I understand that everyone is different, I am open to everyone, I do not discriminate, and with my past experiences put into consideration along with what the material has taught me, I can now more easily relate to other’s triumphs, issues, challenges, and heartache. Though I haven’t really learned anything new about my own personal racial, ethnic, or cultural history, I have learned a lot about many others, such as the challenges African Americans have had to face while trying to establish for themselves equal rights. `According to information in the reading material proved by the Census Bureau, there will be significant changes in the population percentage of different races by the year 2050. While the percentage of population of African Americans appears unchanging, there will be dramatic increases of Hispanics and Asians, and also a significant decrease to the population percentage of American Indians and White and Non Hispanics, though the White and Non Hispanic will still have the higher percentage. This is largely in part due to immigration, where people from other areas and regions move into the country. Hispanics are currently, and probably will continue to be, the leading race immigrating into the United States. As the population of Hispanics increases, the percentage of other races will decrease in comparison in numbers. Currently, as of 2010, the White and Non Hispanics led in population 63.9% to 16.3% of Hispanics. In 2050, it is predicted that the White and Non Hispanic population will have decreased to 46% while the Hispanic population will have increased to a close trail with 31.3%. From the looks of it, the United States will continue to grow more and more diverse over the years. One of the challenges the Unites States faces is inequality of treatment between groups. In every society, there is always going to be one group viewed as the “dominant” group or one or more certain groups viewed as inferior. This does not necessary mean that the group is larger in numbers, but larger in status. This does not relate directly to race. Diversity and inequality relates to all types of groups. With diversity, often times comes discrimination. Such equal treatment challenges like discrimination can be seen in many different aspects such as in the work force, education, tax breaks, health coverage, social acceptance, financial interest rates and acceptance, and many other typical aspects of life. Stereotyping is another challenge faced by society due to diversity. So often people are prejudged based on the types of “groups” they fall into. Even if the stereotypes placed don’t actually provide accurate description of the specific person, which it seldom does, the prejudgment placed because of the stereotype causes many people to be discriminated against, no matter how inaccurately the stereotype describes the person. Much of society has difficulty looking past the stereotypes to identify the person. The lack of person centered thinking hinders society’s ability to break those stereotypes that far too often can lead to prejudice and discrimination. Though there are many challenges the United States faces due to the diversity of its people, there are also many benefits of having such a diverse society. One main benefit from having diversity is growth, whether this is personal or as a society or as a country in whole. With diversity comes a variety of other aspects in addition to the people involved alone. People bring with them their cultures, their interests, their religions, their ideas, their views, and other aspects and traits with them everywhere they go. As different types of people come together so do their traits and aspects. Without the allowance of diversity, people wouldn’t be as knowledgeable about other parts of the world and the joys and wonders that originate. In terms of personal growth through diversity come tolerance, adaptation, respect, and understanding of others. As a society, we learn how to co-exist. In addition, the entire country benefits with the introduction of new foods, music, styles, clothing, ideas, festivals, customs, art, literature, and forms of entertainment. These benefits that I have mentioned such as respect, tolerance, and the introduction of new experiences aids us in fostering a climate of acceptance and cultural pluralism in the United States. By continuously being open and allowing expression and new experiences through diversity, we can foster pluralism further. The media has played a large role in perpetuating stereotyping and prejudice. One reason being because media has many times focused on the facts of a given situation and when relating the situation with people involved, merely focused on the individual’s obvious traits. This action is the epiphany of judging a book by its cover. Millions of people get their information from the media and rely on the media as a source of credible information. When a story is aired, for example, more often than not, race will be mentioned when a Black male is involved with a crime. This happens far more often than when a White male is involved in a crime. His description will generally be referred to as “a middle-aged male”, whereas a Black man’s race would be given more focus. Negative news of a minority group member is generally more blown up and broadcasted than that of someone belonging to a dominant group. The media has also been known to put more positive hype on the action’s of a dominant group, and also often times showing bias in that concern, leaning towards favoritism of a certain group. Media might have caused some harm in perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice, but it’s done some good too. There are many forms of media, and one growingly popular form of media is social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others. These are all websites that promote a social interaction between people all over the world. On these sites, people are free to share their personal thoughts, videos, images, and more. Because of these- and an addition of many other media sources- media has been able to foster appreciation for diversity; one main way by providing an easy, safe, and accessible source of interaction and connection to other people. Because of this promotion for interaction, more people are encouraged to socialize with groups who differ from themselves and meet new people. Much like how these social media sites have promoted more interaction between groups, there is more that individuals and the United States can do to work together to reduce prejudice and increase appreciation for diversity such as organizing community events that are open to any and every one. Community events are a great way of working locally to address these diversity issues and bring people closer together. It provides a chance for people to get to know one another for more than just each other’s outside appearances. The more you know about someone, the more can you understand and accept them. In a bigger perspective, larger events could be held for the same reason. For example, nationally recognized holidays dedicated to the idea, parades, marches, etc. These are all types of celebrations that help to put a positive light towards a controversial issue. You see such events already like the ever-famous “gay parade” which promotes, recognizes, and invites acceptance of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people. You also see similar acknowledgement with Black History Month. With more local community and nationally recognized events such as these, we can worth together to reduce prejudice and an increase appreciation for diversity as a community and as a country. I’m not sure how much more I can do to change my own behaviors to be more inclusive and pluralistic considering I am already so involved in community activities to promote pluralism and show support of other “groups” that I don’t even consider myself a part of. I do, however, plan on practicing more of a person-centered thinking to try and see more people for who they are, rather than judging them on outward appearances and stereotypes. I also try my best to break stereotypes by doing what I can to prove negative expectations and assumptions that many people may have about me wrong.

References

Schaefer, R. T. (). Racial and Ethnic Groups (13th ed.). : Merrill Prentice Hall.…...

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