The Real Slum Dogs Essay

2088 words - 9 pages

A. Ethnocentrism/ p. 37- The use of one’s own culture as a yardstick for judging the ways of other individuals or societies, generally leading to a negative evaluation of their values, norms, and behaviors.

Dharavi is the largest slum in the country of India. It is home to an estimated one million people, who all live within one square mile of its confines. This is approximately half the size of Central Park located in New York City, New York. Dharavi has one of the greatest population densities in the world. It is said to be six times greater than Manhattan, New York City. This fact ties into ethnocentrism because people who live outside of that society do not understand how someone would ...view middle of the document...


B. Culture Shock/ p. 37- The disorientation that people experience when they come in contact with a fundamentally different culture and can no longer depend on their taken-for-granted assumptions about life.

There is only one toilet for 1400 residents, electricity is illegal, and fifteen families share only one tap that works for merely two hours in the day. Taking someone who is accustomed to living in a developed society and placing him/her in Dharavi to live, culture shock is almost guaranteed to occur. Westernized culture has made it essential to have electricity, accessible running and clean water, and in many cases, to even have a simple telephone. The people of Dharavi do not have these things. The things that other cultures see as fundamental are almost non-existent in Dharavi. In American culture, it is almost impossible to find someone without a cell phone. To leave that same person to live in a slum without any electricity or to work in unsanitary conditions would be considered inhumane. In America, the citizens take for granted having a bathroom with a door for privacy, but in Dharavi, one toilet is shared by too many to count. That alone would make someone from a westernized country look down there nose at this culture. In cultures where people hate to wait in line to use a public restroom, Dharavi would be deemed as an unfit place to live. Imagine it to be illegal to have electricity here in the United States, how many people would be unlawful citizens? When considering everything that the US citizens use for survival on the daily basis, almost everyone would be engaging in illegal activity. From watching television, to charging a cell or gps, or even simply turning on a light when walking into a room, our culture takes for granted the things that we see as an automatic right. Culture shock could also occur if placing someone from Dharavi here. If that person could no longer rag pick, no longer had to work twelve hour shifts, or would even be able to receive free education, he/she would take some time to get accustomed to the things that are readily available here. The citizens of Dharavi would be just as shocked as anyone else changing their scenery. //345//

C. Value/ p.45- The standards by which people define what is desirable or undesirable, good or bad, beautiful or ugly.

There are 12 schools inside the community of Dharavi. These schools are supported by charity, the local community, and the state. Education is of the utmost importance to the people of Dharavi. Families with children place high value on educating at least one of the children. This is seen as a way to a better future life. In the documentary, the single mother always set aside enough time to help her daughter with her studies. Although she does not make an abundance of money, paying for her daughters schooling seems to trump everything besides eating in their lives. Many of the parents want the children to thrive so that they will not face the...

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