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Understanding Cultural Differences, Social Values, and Change

In this section you will have an opportunity to extend what you have discovered about ethnic group values to your own values.

For this exploration identify a classmate or other person on email who is from the same ethnic group as you are. Through email the two of you identify a list of ten characteristics you share (for example, "We both live in the same city"). Then, for each similarity listed, identify one difference that exists (for example, "We both live in the same city, but A lives on the north side while B lives on the east side" or "We both have brown eyes, but A's lashes are longer than B's".) When you have these lists, respond to the following questions:

Please provide the following contact information:

First Name
Last Name

Date :

-- mm/dd/yy

1. What ethnic group are the two of you from?

2. List the ten differences you discovered between you two.

3. Can two people really be "the same" in anything?

4. What does the notion that all samenesses are illusory and that each person is ultimately unique mean to you now?

5. Social prejudice involves categorizing people as being "the same as" each other. What is the illogical aspect of this reasoning?

6. Pick one of the differences in characteristics you listed. Is one of the characteristics better than another? Why or why not?

7. Our society often thinks of differences as better than or less than. If they aren't, what pushes people towards interpreting differences as inadequacies?

After you have typed in your responses to the above questions, click on this submit button to send your responses to the instructor.

Created by Mary B. Reid.
Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.
Revised: February 27, 2000