As stereotypical and prejudicial beliefs that people
As a person of Indian descent, whenever people interact with me, they make assumptions based on my physical appearance regardless of my personal beliefs, life perspectives and live philosophy.
Generally, the assumption is that an Indian looking human being always behaves like the stereotypical and prejudicial beliefs that people have about Hinduism and other related cultural aspects (Hunsberger & Jackson, 2005). In this regard, the religion in which most of the members are of Indian descent determines how everyone is perceived and treated regardless of his or her interaction with others with whom he or she shares an ethnic background. Since I am fairly well travelled, I have interacted with people in areas with varying degrees of cultural diversity, which determines the perceptions that people have towards me. When interacting with people in places where the most population members are Indians, my place in the community is determined less by my physical appearance (Robinson, 2005). In these settings, my position in society is determined by other factors like socioeconomic class, of which I belong in the upper middle class based on the economy and other variables in the place in which I live.
However, as I change my location, my status adjusts in line with my position in society relative to the place in which I live, as well as the socioeconomic and ethnic characteristics of the people with whom I interact. In multicultural places like major cities, I usually find myself among the minority ethnic groups, and my physical appearance plays a greater role in how people see me and interact with me. In these settings, the assumption is usually that I am of Indian descent, so I must share all the stereotypical and prejudicial characteristics that are shared by other Indians. The difference between how I am perceived, and the change in my social status as indicated here is as a result of changes in the demographic composition of the place in which I am staying (Zarate, Garcia, Garza, & Hitlan, 2004). These perceptions are usually not conscious, whereby people do not usually make a decision to be discriminative or presumptive, but the subconscious process leads them to behave differently regardless of how they feel about me. My understanding of the basis of how people behave towards others depending on their ethnic or racial background serves as one of the reasons I have taken a somewhat anarchist approach to life. My experience with my friend, who is of Anglo-Saxon descent, was affected by how a person changes in social status depending on the people with whom he or she interacts and the context in which the interaction occurs.
Since the interaction occurred in a setting in which there are no political or economic reasons to be discriminative, I understood it to mean that my friend’s subconscious is driven by ideas that he has but cannot express about people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds. For instance, due to religious and cultural reasons, Indians are usually assumed to be pacifists, with the most popular pacifist Indian being Gandhi who used a nonviolent approach in leadership (Ojwang, 2005). Based on this assumption about people of Indian decent, by approach of taking an anarchist approach to discussions and arguments, it seems like I am confirming and propagating the stereotype.
Instead, I am usually just trying to be reasonable and avoid unnecessary disagreements whenever possible, although I do have my fair share of disagreements. Conclusion The process of researching for this assignment was insightful, particularly since it enabled me to see aspects of an interaction that I could not have seen or anticipated without the research. Although we live in a multicultural society, a person’s racial background have a determining effect on the interactions a person has with others, even if racism does not come into question during the interactions. From this case, I realized that the decisions I make, coupled with the responses that people have towards those decisions, are affected by my ethnic background in one way or the other. The research enabled me to accept that most aspects of human behavior, regardless of our thought processes, as affected by our subconscious, whereby we see others not as they are, but as we have been brought up to see them. Although the experience was challenging in both its occurrence and the process of researching it, I believe that reexamining our lives provides insights on how to make improvements.