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An Assessment Of Diversity And Demographic Impact On Individual Behavior

1626 words - 7 pages

Numerous studies have been conducted on diversity and demographic impact on individual behavior. My objective is to examine and discuss the results, and implications of my research in regards to the following: Ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, and personality traits and I will examine the impact that they each have on individual behavior.EthnicityIn examining how ethnicity helps mold one's identity, it is important to gain a clear understanding of what 'ethnicity' really is. A person's environment is the single most important element in creating one's identity. Actually, it could be said that a person's identity is just a reflection of one's environment. To clarify, a person who has had no social contact with other humans or their conventions would not have a social identity. One can only know what he has experienced, whether directly or through thought. Without social interaction, his experience would be non-existent.Ethnicity plays a huge role here because it regulates the way the environment is perceived by providing a foundation for what is right and acceptable. Ethnicity becomes a medium through which every experience is measured and thus controls what effect it has on an individual's identity.A person's ethnicity shapes their ideas, beliefs, and basically everything that is identity. The interesting aspect of ethnicity and identity is looking at one's individual ethnicity in relation to that of the whole. The position of minorities and the norm is where identity and ethnicity can really be examined. What I am saying is that the majority's ethnicity will eventually be termed expected behavior and lose its 'ethnic' appeal. In this sense, it would be worthless to look at the relationship between ethnicity and identity of the majority because to the majority, ethnicity is no longer ethnicity but common culture. Studying it, then, wouldn't show how ethnicity really shapes his identity, only how environment as a whole shapes identity.The more interesting topic is the role ethnicity plays in an individual's identity as a member of American society. Since America claims to take such pride in being some sort of cosmic melting pot, a person's ethnicity would ideally be less important here than any other place on earth. Interestingly, this is very far from the truth.Racism, sexism, and capitalism thrive here, helping to create broad stereotypes that come with expected behaviors. This type of generalization of ethnic groups' characteristics skews individual's evaluations, as one is judged on who they are expected to be instead of who they are. Take a first or second generation Irish -American for example (one would recognize their ethnicity because of the thick Irish drawl). Upon his first mention of any sort of alcoholic indulgence, a person here is probably going to assume he is a heavy drinker. Interestingly, if he were a third or fourth generation descendent and thus lacked the accent, he would appear as anyone else. No one would know of...

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