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Eth125 Final

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Submitted By jinglebells
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Running head: FINAL PROJECT

Final Project
ETH/125
January 12, 2014

Abstract

Many websites are available on the Internet with information on the various diversity groups in America. The U.S. population’s diversity is influenced by immigration. There are both benefits and challenges to having such a diverse population. Fostering a culture of acceptance in society is key to reaping more benefits and reducing challenges. Mass media has an influential impact in society, perpetuating stereotypes or building appreciation for diversity. If individuals and the U.S can come together, they can reduce prejudice and increase acceptance and tolerance.

Final Paper

The plethora of information about diversity in the United States can give someone a better understanding than they may have previously had. Through understanding, a person may be able to better relate to someone that is different. Many websites are available on the Internet with information on the various diversity groups in America. The diversity of the U.S. is ever changing with immigration and inter-racial couples having children. As the country becomes more diverse, we will face challenges as well as receive benefits. The key to reaping more benefits, while reducing the challenges, is to foster a culture of acceptance in society. The media plays a large influential role in society and can work to perpetuate stereotypes and prejudice or build appreciation for diversity. Working together, the government and the people can work to reduce prejudice through education and intervention.

What I Have Learned

Better understanding of those who may be different can come through reading up on information about diversity within the U.S. Various forms of information pertaining to the diversity of our country or state are available on the Internet. The census and poverty population tools available via the Internet have been useful in understanding the diversity levels within the United States (Bloch, Ericson, & Giratikanon, 2014). Though someone may have outward appearances that say otherwise, no one may know that they are amongst the many living below the poverty line in America. When investigating these websites for information regarding diversity, a better understanding of that population group can give an appreciation or respect. Learning the meaning behind cultural beliefs can offer a new view into diversity. Also, learning that other diversity groups encounter similar issues or have similar beliefs can build camaraderie. The Census provides a snapshot of the American population and expected growth. Throughout the history of the Census, Whites have been the majority. To learn that Whites will be caught up with in terms of numbers decades from now is interesting because while they will still be a large group, they will be inching nearer to becoming a minority.

Trends in Immigration: Challenges and Benefits of Diversity

Immigration and mixed race children are changing the demographics of the United States. By the year 2060, it is estimated that the U.S. population will shift so much that Whites will have passed their peak population numbers and begin to decline, while Hispanics and Blacks will see a significant increase ("U.S. Census Bureau Projections Show A Slower Growing, Older, More Diverse Nation a Half Century From Now", n.d.). With such a diverse pool of people in American society, the problem of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are ever present. There are many benefits derived from having such a diverse population. With so many different cultural aspects brought to the table, each member of society can learn to see things from another vantage point. Perspectives that may have been otherwise hidden can open the door to better understanding and acceptance, as well. With a fresh perspective, alternate resolutions can be arrived at. Diversity can also teach the population tolerance. In a melting pot of a country, it is necessary to respect your fellow man to maintain civility.

Fostering Acceptance and Cultural Pluralism in the United States

The more our population becomes diverse, the more it has to offer. Teaching our children about acceptance and the benefits of diversity in society can foster a climate of acceptance. Since hate is a learned behavior, working with our children to equip them with the tools necessary to counteract can help spread tolerance. The National Crime Prevention Council provides helpful tips on how to teach acceptance and understanding to our children, like open discussions and objecting to jokes that promote racism or sexism ("Tolerance For Teens", 2014). If parents learn to curb what they say or how they act in front of their children, future generations may be more tolerant of diversity. Another way to gain positive ground is to host multi-cultural community events. This would be a great way to engage all the various members of a community while educating. When in a relaxed, fun environment, people may feel more apt to having conversation with a stranger.

Stereotyping in the Media

Stereotypes and prejudice are often perpetuated in media. From jokes in the script to casting and costuming, media works to make light of stereotypes for sometimes comedic purposes. In the 1950’s, gender stereotypes were prevalent in television and advertising. Advertising and television has also perpetuated gender stereotypes for young boys and girls. Ads for dolls show all girls playing and lots of pink, while ads geared towards boys have race cars and blues. Aside from shows and commercials, the media also perpetuates stereotyping and prejudice by reporting on the negatives. A White viewer will see many reports on Blacks committing crimes, or a Black person will see a report on a White person being racist.

The Media: Fostering Appreciation of Diversity

The media can help to build and foster appreciation for diversity in society through movie scripts, casting, and commercials. Most recently in 2013, Cheerios produced and aired a commercial in which an inter-racial couple and their bi-racial child were having breakfast together. While some people were bothered by such advertising, leaving hateful comments on the company’s YouTube page, the brand took a huge step forward in presenting what the new modern family was (Curry, 2014). Opening the door to a more public display of this helps foster appreciation for diversity. For news, reporting on positive aspects of diversity and different cultures can help reduce prejudice. By showing the benefits of a diverse neighborhood, people may appreciate what the different groups bring to their area. This can also help to end exclusion, too.

Reducing Prejudice in the United States: Increasing Diversity

Working together to teach tolerance and acceptance to our youth and to the public can help reduce prejudice. Increasing cultural pluralism can give people an increased appreciation for diversity in America. By focusing on the positives, educating the masses, and having open and civil discussions, much can be learned. In addition to education, enforcing laws to hold people accountable for prejudice behavior could be a good deterrent, effectively helping to reduce prejudice. Breaking the stereotypical notion that all Muslims are terrorists can open the door to an education on a religion that might have otherwise been misunderstood. Community events can create opportunities for inclusion, allowing new people to be met. By enforcing the Civil Right Act and creating more equality amongst American citizens, perhaps we could focus on the positives that diversity brings to the melting pot.

Changing My Own Behaviors

In an effort to become more inclusive and pluralistic, engaging in conversation with people from all walks of life can help me to see how I can relate to others and learn from them. Humility can do wonders for teaching tolerance and acceptance. Working to educate myself on a culture I do not understand can help me to learn a perspective I had previously shut out. Also, reducing judgments or labels can help to overcome stereotypes that have been learned. Some ideas to gain more of each aspect in my life would be to perform some community service, engage in conversation with a stranger, or educate myself on something that I do not understand about a culture.

Conclusion

There are many sources of information on diversity in America available on the Internet. Learning understanding can be helpful in learning to appreciate another person’s point of view. . Immigration has had an impact on diversity within the population, as well as bi-racial children being born. Though the country’s diversity is growing, there are challenges and benefits. Fostering a culture of acceptance can help to increase benefits and reduce possible challenges. Some benefits and challenges are presented in media. Media both perpetuates stereotypes and fosters acceptance. Learning as an individual and as a country, people and the United States can work together to usher in a climate of acceptance.
References
Bloch, M., Ericson, M., & Giratikanon, T. (2014, January 4). Mapping poverty in America. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2014/01/05/poverty-map/?ref=us
Curry, C. (2014). Interracial family in Cheerios ad gets hate comments. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/05/interracial-family-in-cheerios-ad-gets-hate-comments/
Tolerance for teens. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.ncpc.org/topics/hate-crime/tolerance
U.S. Census Bureau projections show a slower growing, older, more diverse nation a half century from now. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/population/cb12-243.html

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