Tag Archives: Atlanta

London, March 10, 2010

28 Jun

Homogeneity is that elephant in the room that as a Black female scholar, I always address in terms of its negative impact on me.  Historically my view of homogeneity was framed around Whites who demanded a sense of entitlement in their interactions with those unlike them (and yes, I am clear I have othered here).

Students of Nan Hua High School gathering in t...

Students of Nan Hua High School gathering in the School Hall. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Today however I witnessed another type of homogeneity.  A type that has isolated a group to a point where they don’t realize that in every other place but their home country, they are not the majority or privileged.  But their approach to all things different is just as elitist as the White “entitled.”

Electric Avenue 2

Electric Avenue 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





I am talking about the lack of interest my students have in the people of London.  The disdain on the faces of some of my students as they walked the neighborhoods, quite honestly embarrassed me at times.  I wonder how many of them have actually seen all of the nieghborhoods in Atlanta?

Looking at the naturalistic paradigm it is clear that selective perception is born in experience.  The social constructions of our realities frame how we interpret all situations.  When you are socially constructed to all but romanticize all things Western, you choose not to see those aspects less than romantic.

My concern is when this social construction of reality inserts prejudice.  I cannot say “racist” because my students do not have the power they may have had in China.  That was taken away from them as soon as they left.  But prejudice for sure.  This is where my embarrassment enters.  My embarrassment comes from my own social construction of reality.  Having seen more experiences around socioeconomic status and pride, nationalism and identity, my understanding and perception is different.


Am I being elitist by judging the perspective of my students?


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