Some writers have described and discussed the topic of Experiencing difference with varying opinions. Difference is a vital aspect in the life of a human being and anthologist like Carl James attempt to explain the variable, intricacies and irregular materiality of the difference. Gender, social class, race, religion, sexuality, age, ethnicity, and appearance are experienced and taken up in many different ways that are complicated and inconsistent. The authors relay their information to space, context, and interactions. The writers have used unique styles and genres to present their perspective on the topic given that difference is relational, flowing, contextual as well as multiple (James, 2000). Though there exist some differences in the work of various writers, the similarities are also evident regarding the way they have discusses and maintained interest in a way that appreciation is facilitated regarding the complexities of difference.
Carl James in his work shows how the topic of experiencing difference is dominant in the multicultural society like Canada. The difference discourse of such society views one group of individuals an indigenous while the other is referred to as the foreigners. With the passing time, the topic of difference has become more intensified with people posing as the custodians of the society as they try to incorporate their values, norms and cultural believes of what it means to belong in their country (James, 2000). Some have opted to oppose degradation, marginalization, negation. They challenge the practices that undermine them and contribute to them being seen as different and not belonging in the society they inhabit. The writer shows that as a result of the challenges faced by most communities, there is need of recognizing and accepting the difference in complexity, diversity, and adjustment that is present and part of life. James farther highlights the painful experiences of living up to adulthood and beyond difference. Such instances lead to hypersensitivity to how a person’s gender, racial or social class difference is presented and regarded; a good illustration is how a black person is viewed as troublesome. The responses of individuals when asked how they perceive difference is entirely another matter as they have no willingness to learn about the different experience of others.
Authors relate ways in which many of their differences are engaged such as responding to questions like what nationality one belongs to. Others have focused on race that has mostly lead to stereotyping. Another form of difference is the one which applies to the deaf people. Some others have called it audism and are much closer to racism which presents the oppression that people with hearing incapabilities face. With such a difference it is important to broaden the perspective of the subject and not only revolve it around language, racism or ethnicity.
In the aspect of schooling and difference, authors discover ways in which teachers have had to deal with issues revolving around race, gender, ethnicity and religion. About how science is being taught in secondary schools. The way it is presented in class makes it impossible for female gender to access it causing problems. It is also difficult for foreign teachers to be role models away from home. Therefore, tutors should be enlightened about the diversity of the student population in schools and take up the responsibility of ensuring the needs and concerns of students are taken into consideration. Education is vital in the process of embracing difference, but it can be meaningless if it does not highlight the interests of participants as they struggle with the oppression they face as a result of difference. For this to be possible, equality should be taught in class. Students should be encouraged to embrace inclusivity. Universities should be ready to accept and acknowledge the difference, diversity, and experiences international students bring. There is also a need for transforming learning curriculum to help educators in the process of implementing change in the learning system.
On personal regard, I occupy various social statuses including a child, student, and a friend. As a child, I belong to a family that genuinely loves and cares for me. My parent ensures that they fulfill their obligations of providing my the basic needs. As a student, I have had the opportunity to attend school and acquire education from various stages starting with pre-school to college. Moreover, being a social person, I have been able to make many friends both at home and at school. As a child, am being seen as a minor with no authority of undertaking significant obligation. The assumption made is that I should be taken care of by my parents.
People have different experiences depending on the social status they occupy. For those in the ascribed status like age, race, gender among others, they may be proud of who they are as individuals causing them to experience difference in another way. Those in the status of authority have experienced the ability to control and regulate resources, processes, organizations, and regulations. Leaders have influenced people in different capacities while the rich ones have had experiences of expensive commodities and adventures. Based on the varying social statuses, it is not wrong to experience difference differently. For individuals who have grown up differently, they may experience difference by being seen as having overcome challenges or suffered because of their disabilities. Social setting is often altered when a physically challenged person is involved, especially where personal privacy is concerned as well as appearances. On the other hand, when an individual is of a different race, they may experience the difference in an emotional way because of the questions and comments that may encounter. Their interaction with people is mostly dominated by the question of who they are.
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James, C. (Ed.). (2000). Experiencing difference. Halifax, NS: Fernwood.
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