This author is both perceptive and convincing in her presentation of a “single story.” It is difficult knowing how vast our world is, with so many different kinds of people from so many countries with so many languages and cultures and occupations and experiences, to think about how to approach any group “foreign” to us, knowing that we will likely appear uneducated and simple minded with a single story mentality as our default. I suppose the flip side is to keep charity, grace and lenience in mind when we hear others unknowingly discuss our culture/language/profession in biased and oversimplified terms.
Thank you for your comment. I agree it can be daunting to try to get to know someone "foreign" to us because we naturally have an aversion to the unknown/unfamiliar. In this country we are fortunate to have so many people from so may other places in the world. We have access to cultures others simply do not have access to. One of the issues surrounding implicit bias is that biased based behavior can make those who were born and raised in the USA feel permanently "foreign." I believe it is going to take patience and empathy from everyone to build bridges and create equality in these great United States of America.
It’s funny that you say we naturally have an aversion to the unknown and familiar because I personally have always been drawn to friends and partners different than me. I grew up in a conservative Indian household with open minded parents and found that I was always looking out of my race for different perspectives and those who had different experiences than me because I felt that hearing about them and learning about them would enrich my life. In fact only once I dated an Indian man and all the rest of my relationships were with someone of a different race, religion or background than myself. Perhaps people like me are those that help preventing the single stories. I wonder how many of us there are.
Thank you for your comment. I think it is great that you are so open to different experiences and people. Studies show that for most people, there is an aversion to the unfamiliar. It is something that is not under our control. This aversion to the unfamiliar saved us as a species thousands of years ago from being eaten by a dangerous animal or taken by a rival tribe.
More contemporary studies using fMRI shows actual higher Amygdala (Fight or Flight) response to African American Targets both from African American subjects as well as White subjects. This suggests that the response learned. So your openness regarding other cultures is connected to that of your parents.
Our aversion is not just to thing that are unfamiliar, but also to things we have learned we should be fearful of. That learning could have been explicit or implicit.
This is such a cool blog!! I am waiting with baited breath to see what you post next!! Thanks for doing this!! We need to get the word out about bias!!
During this time of the pandemic I want my children to continue to have new experiences and open their minds so that they will not be ruled by a “single story.” Thank you for bringing this to our attention as we navigate what to do on this difficult life journey during COVID. At this point I am just glad that the family is together and everyone is safe. Perhaps that is all that everyone wishes for at this moment, but the days do feel long.