Diversity Awareness Essay

1153 words - 5 pages

Diversity Awareness

Differences in our society are many, including age, religion, physical and
mental abilities, gender, sexual orientation, income, family or social status, and
physical appearance. Anyplace where differences are found leaves room for
stereotypes.
Stereotypes are generalizations about people usually based on inaccurate
information or assumptions rather than facts. (Wei, 1996) Stereotypes do not take
into account the great diversity of people within a group of people. Nor do
stereotypes consider the present circumstances of the individual. Even worse,
stereotypes can lead to prejudicial or discriminatory behavior.
Most of the observations I made concerning my stereotypypical behavior
circled around rich people, foreigners, and the elderly. All the reasons I have
developed generalizations for these groups are because of my limited contact with
members of these groups.
The first group that I have noticed I stereotype more than others are what I
consider rich people. Ole Miss and Oxford has an over abundance of these people
which has led me to distance myself even farther from them. I believe that all rich
people are arrogant and that they always look for ways to down people of a lower
socioeconomic status. I think most of these generalizations that I have concerning
this group evolve from my personal experiences with students at Ole Miss.
I am from a family that struggles to make it week to week and cannot afford
to help out with my college expenses. Ole Miss, from what I have observed, caters
to the rich and provides no support for those not fortunate enough to label
themselves as rich. I find it hard to relate to students that are fortunate enough to
have their parents pay for their living and schooling expenses. My generalizations
of this group come from the rich at Ole Miss because the majority of students that
come from money are almost always in Greek life, drive cars nicer than those of
myself or my family, wear nice clothes, and hang out in clichés. My hometown is
nothing like the Oxford community; almost everyone in my hometown works in
trade industries which never allow one to live a lavish life.
For every arrogant rich person there is a caring philanthropist that helps
people like me and does not flaunt their money. Although the generalizations I
have formed about rich people will be hard to disown, I think that they should
disappear with more contact with members of this group. (Husain, 1996) I also
believe that once I graduate from college and become acquainted with rich people
outside of Oxford, I will form new opinions of them.
The second group that I often stereotype are the Asian students at Ole Miss.
It seems that wherever you go around campus you never see them with people of
different ethnic backgrounds. I often see them as antisocial individuals that spend
all their time in the library. I have not been around many Asians and how I
perceive them is through...

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