What Sorts of Social Response to Diversity

Simply put, every culture can respond to individual differences in two primary ways: (a) Accommodation or (b) Marginalization. Accommodation finds ways to tolerate and include differences, while marginalization finds ways to exclude and eliminate them. The more difficult question is why do societies find it necessary or desirable to marginalize? The answer may not be so simple. Is it about fear, money, power, or something else. What do you think?


3 thoughts on “What Sorts of Social Response to Diversity

  1. “why do societies find it necessary or desirable to marginalize?”

    It’s weird, isn’t it. Maybe to make sense of the question you have to think about individual examples of marginalisation—big and small.

    School bullies? Racist remarks? Work bullies? Hmmm the super biggies involving murder? Mass murder?

    Can the question then be reframed?

    What is the difference? What is the worry? What kind of feeling is experienced by those who do the marginalisation?

    There’s an interesting one. How do sexists and racists feel about what they do. Surely that has been studied.

    Google wasn’t a bit help: Results 1 – 1 of 1 for “how do racists feel”. (0.21 seconds)

  2. May be a part of it is based in our conflicting and conflicted concepts of justice or fairness. One is competitive and says that justice is achieved when the fittest competitor wins. The other is cooperative and says that justice is achieved when everyone’s needs are met to the same degree. While these two ideas seem to be mutually exclusive, society seems to evolve as a result of the interplay and often confrontation of the two notions.

  3. I’ve been wondering about marginalization and whether there are just two alternatives. A third might be “use and abuse in a near-obsessive fashion.”

    I’m not sure about that. The used and abused are usually/always keep out of the power circles, but they may also be the focus of a great deal of attention.

    This might be clearest with abusesd wives, but colonialists have sometimes become obsessed with the ‘natives.’ I’m also wondering where in the spectrum the use of disabled people as jesters, etc, goes.

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