America Is Identity Fluid
We’re birds of different feathers and we’re all in this together
It’s not just minority groups’ efforts at acculturation. Our country is based on the idea of a fluid identity, meaning that majority groups demonstrate acculturation to minority groups.
What we need to improve is minority groups’ acculturation to other minority groups.
“She’s probably lying or she would’ve reported it sooner”
I’m a Black Xy male & I didn’t file an official complaint about the racial profiling on December 16th until February 24th — over 2 months later. If processing Racial Trauma was that difficult/complex for me, imagine how difficult reporting Sexual Assault is for women.
Must Be Lying 🤦🏻♀️
The fact that it took me 2 months to file an official complaint didn’t make my complaint any less true — something I’m thankful to Siri for (keep her charged because #SiriIsAWitness). I was telling the truth & the day on the calendar when I shared it didn’t change that. UCSD took key actions to ensure my physical safety & assist with trauma recovery (peace of mind takes the longest to heal).
Women who don’t report for 2 months, or 2 years, or longer are also telling the truth.
We’re Birds Of Different Feathers & We’re All In This Together
For anyone who says ‘undocumented immigrants’ problems aren’t my problems’…
- Whites, Asians, Hispanics marched with Blacks for Civil Rights/ Voting Rights, & one of the guys leading MLK’s march was openly gay.
- Native Americans, Asians, & Hispanics together won victories for workers with Cesar Chavez.
- Heterosexuals stood alongside Harvey Milk & have continued to assist LGBT in the fight for marriage equality & workplace protections.
We’re birds of different feathers & we’re all in this together. That’s the story of Civil Rights: giving of oneself to help others overcome obstacles you will never experience yourself, & making a difference in the life of someone you may never meet.
Rather than survival of the best & competing against others, we cooperate with others to give them the best chance to survive.
Possibly because of the implicit assimilative assumption that minority-group members adapt to majority-group members and not vice versa, little research has focused on the cultural changes and acculturative styles held by majority-group members. 2/
In a review in press at Current Directions in Psychological Science (https://psyarxiv.com/aph8g/) [https://psyarxiv.com/aph8g/], we argue that the emergence of majority-minority countries, cities and neighborhoods urges the need to understand how majority-group members relate culturally to minority groups. 3/
We define this “missing side” of acculturation as “the cultural and psychological changes that current or former majority-group members experience, and the cultural styles they adopt as a result of contact with people identifying as immigrants or ethnic minority-group members” 4/
One central way in which this differs from how minority-group acculturation has been commonly conceptualized, is that it involves acculturation between the majority group and multiple other cultural groups. 5/
[Jarryd — Horizontal Allyship: This is something minorities need to do to truly develop allyship. Not just acculturation to White American culture, but acculturation to the cultures of other American minority groups. If White Americans are showing acculturative processes in relation to Black, Hispanic, East Asian, Indian, Persian, & other non-White Americans, while minorities’ acculturative efforts are primarily in relation to White Americans the outcome would be minorities putting themselves at a disadvantage in overall intercultural competence. Some instances of interminority cultural appropriation may in fact be clumsy attempts to express some degree of acculturation with other minority groups. Epistemologies of vertical acculturation in minority communities must be rebalanced with a greater focus on horizontal acculturation.]
Jonas’ Twitter thread Continued…
Examples of majority-group acculturation can range from deeper cultural changes such as majority-group members changing their religious beliefs, adopting new linguistic styles, & changing their identity… 6/
…to cultural changes that can be regarded as more superficial, such as changes in clothing and food preferences. 7/
The experienced changes are indeed manifold, as majority-group members report cultural changes in a large number of domains (Haugen & Kunst, 2017).
However, as we argue in our review, future research is needed to delineate the differences and overlap between majority-group members’ acculturation and cultural appropriation. 9/
Status differentials & preferences likely moderate the effect of intercultural contact on cultural change. Majority-group members, who want to maintain an unequal status quo, may likely only superficially adopt minority-group culture, potentially distorting it in the process. /10
By contrast, more egalitarian individuals who are motivated to attenuate the status hierarchy and see cultures as being of equal worth, may adopt the culture of minority groups at a deeper level. /11
On average, most majority-group members seem to prefer integration. They prefer to maintain their own culture and to adopt that of minority groups. However, many majority-group members reject other cultures entirely, choosing the strategy of separation. /12
Interestingly, a “diffuse” pattern was repeatedly observed, where majority-group members show no clear cultural preferences. Future research is needed to understand this acculturation strategy among majority groups. /13
When we look at psychological correlates, we see (in line with a power perspective) that those with less ethnocentric and prejudiced views, more openness, higher quality intercultural contact and more inclusive identities are more likely to adopt aspects of other cultures. /13
Based on existing research and early insights, we offer a conceptual model to study the majority-group members acculturation in the future. /14
We hope that others will find this endeavor to be worthwhile. We believe it may be “potentially transformative as it defines majority-group members as recipients and those identifying as immigrants or minority-group members as agents of social change in a globalized world.” /15
By Dr. Kaidu Wu, PhD (literally direct quotes)
“Can you find the symbol that is different from the rest?
What about now?
It is the same image that you saw before, just rotated 90 degrees to the right. The reason we easily distinguish 2 from the 5’s is precisely that: these are numerical concepts we have developed from an early age. Disable conceptual access — we’d see nothing but angled lines (3/n)
It’s a strange feeling, stumbling upon an experience that we only wish we had the apt words to describe — we call this the state of hypocognition. (4/n)
No one is immune to hypocognition.
My research with @daviddunning6 has shown that if you don’t know a concept (e.g., benevolent sexism), you don’t notice instances of it (e.g., benevolent sexist comments around you) as often: https://psyarxiv.com/29ryz. (5/n)
On the flip side, if you’ve never heard of shoeburyness, consider yourself blessed. People who know shoeburyness (the vague uncomfortable feeling of sitting on a seat that’s still radiating warmth from someone else’s bottom) are plagued by the sensation more often. (6/n)
Now back to information control. The darkest form of hypocognition is one born out of motivated, purposeful intentions. The Chinese rebel writer Han Han once told CNN that any of his writings containing the words ‘government’ or ‘communist’ would be censored. (7/n)
Ironically, these censorship efforts also muffled an abundance of praise from pro-leadership blogs. An effusive commendation such as ‘Long live the government!’ would be censored too, for the mere mention of ‘government’. (8/n)
A closer look reveals furtive workings of hypocognition. Rather than rebuking negative remarks and rewarding praises, govnt blocks access to all discussion, rendering any conceptual understanding of politically sensitive information impoverished in the public consciousness. (9/n)
Regulating what is said is more difficult than ensuring nothing is said. The peril of silence is not a suffocation of ideas. It is to engender a state of blithe apathy in which no idea is formed. (10/n)
Optimism & Diversity (Heterophilous Friendships)
Matthew A. Andersson*
“Dispositional optimism, in its simplest sense, refers to a stable “expectation that good things will happen” (Chang 2001:5). It carries broad implications for how social situations are approached and how challenges are negotiated (Peterson 2000; Carver and Scheier 2002).
Diverse community interactions and involvements can build up one’s sense of generalized trust (Glanville and Paxton 2007).
Personality has yet to be examined as an indirect yet powerful determinant of the diversity of personal social networks that is independent of preference- and population-based mechanisms. I use the 2004 General Social Survey to illustrate how dispositional optimism shapes core discussion network size as well as demographic heterophily among core ties. I find that optimism is associated with enhanced network size as well as ties among nonkin and across lines of age, education, and race. Following these results, I urge closer attention to personality as it dynamically shapes the social structure of opportunities and resources.
Burt, Jannotta, and Mahoney (1998) related the presence of structural holes in a network to the ego’s desires for conformity, security, and stability, such that more conservative individuals evidence fewer structural holes (i.e., greater structural constraint) in their networks (see also Oh and Kilduff 2008).
If personality is conceived broadly to include cultural tastes and moral-cultural dispositions, then several recent efforts have illuminated how such dispositions shape the recruitment of peers who are often similarly predisposed in terms of moral-cultural behavior (Lizardo 2006; Vaisey and Lizardo 2010). More in the realm of traditional personality psychology, Doeven-Eggens et al. (2008) examined how personality shapes the peer versus family composition of social networks among university students. They found that autonomous individuals tend to exhibit networks based predominantly on family or on a mix between family and peers, whereas extraverted students are more likely to report peer-based networks. Other research has found that extraversion correlates with enhanced tie formation across 12 domains, including friends, neighbors, voluntary associations, and work (Cohen et al. 1997; Cohen et al. 2003).
Dispositional optimism was associated with factor increases in overall and nonkin network size, on par with more than two additional years of education. Moreover, results are consistent with the argument that optimism promotes tie formation across lines of age, education, and race. Thus, optimism seems to constitute an adaptive strategy that coincidentally adds to public goods by joining social circles. According to results, it predicts more types of network heterophily than does educational attainment. This may mean that optimism is a potent yet overlooked factor in explaining the emergence of network-based homophily versus heterophily.”
Andersson, M. A. (2012). Dispositional optimism and the emergence of social network diversity. The sociological quarterly, 53(1), 92–115.
Asendorpf and Wilpers (1998): extroverts both give and receive more social support than introverts.
Extroverts are more likely to have friend (vs. family) dominant networks (Doeven-Eggens et al., 2008), larger total network size, and larger core network layers (e.g., Kalish & Robins, 2006; Pollett, Roberts, & Dunbar, 2008; Ishiguro, 2016; c.f., Landis, 2016).
Totterdell, Holman, and Huskin (2008) show that trait extraversion is strongly related to the propensity to seek new acquaintances and broaden personal networks. Extroverts are also more likely to bring their close ties together (Kalish & Robins, 2006; Lepri et al., 2016). This concurs with classic research showing that friendlier individuals have a lower tolerance for “intransitivity” — unbalanced triads in which Rich is friends with Scott, Scott is friends with Sonya, but Sonya is not friends with Rich (Hallinan & Kubitschek, 1998).
In line with Assendopf and Wilpers (1998), it may be that extroverts simply meet more people, rather than engage in qualitatively better meetings.
Our findings thus echo the limits of personality in line with work by Pollet et al. (2011) and Assendorpf and Wilpers (1998). In the former, the authors show that despite having larger network layers, extroverts are not closer to their relationships at any individual layer. In the latter, the researchers find that extroverts tend to interact with their peers more — but do not have closer relationships. In his/her review, Landis (2016) summarizes these two studies, “…extraverts may interact more often with others in the workplace and even build larger networks as a result of these interactions but do not necessarily become emotionally closer to their network contacts than their introverted peers” (p.116). By contrast, our results suggest that extroverts inhabit wider friendship networks than introverts — but this effect does not trickle down to their core networks of communication partners on Facebook. The current research suggests that extroverts may build more expansive networks — but temporal and cognitive limits may prevent people from accruing a diverse set of strong ties.
Bayer, J. B. (2016). Online Safety Nets: How Perceived Isolation Motivates Network Closure (Doctoral dissertation).
McGee quotes the great James Baldwin:
“What they see is a disastrous, continuing, present condition which menaces them, and for which they bear an inescapable responsibility. But since, in the main, they seem to lack the energy to change this condition, they would rather not be reminded of it.” Baldwin went on to observe that white Americans “are dimly, or vividly, aware that the history they have fed themselves is mainly a lie, but they do not know how to release themselves from it, and they suffer enormously from the resulting personal incoherence.” (author bolded)
If this concept is difficult to embrace, kindly allow me to offer you an analogy. I have a brand new orthopedic surgeon. The other day he shared a story with me about a grossly obese patient whose knees were being destroyed by the obesity. My doctor pointed out as kindly as he could that the obesity was playing a significant part in the destruction of the woman’s knees. She promptly wrote up a formal complaint on the surgeon rather than deal with the physics, science and brutal reality of her body. That is what this is like. Same kind of incoherence, to circle back to Baldwin. Rather than take responsibility for what her choices and her condition were doing to her knees and the rest of her body, she attacked the messenger. She cannot deal with her obesity, and in doing this she perpetuates the problem rather than learn to find a way forward. This is what we do as a nation.
As embracing that history is deeply painful, it is far easier, in a world where the slightest inconvenience is just too much (Siri, turn on the lights. Alexa, find my socks. Siri, wipe my ass for me), taking full responsibility for not only reading and absorbing our checkered and ugly history of racism but also being willing not to buy into the lies that affirmative action has done its job and therefore, such programs have worn out their welcome, is apparently one step too far.
You and I get to choose. You choose to see, and in seeing you also take responsibility for what it takes to change what you see. There are plenty of books and articles about becoming an ally. But
you cannot be an ally if you completely refuse to see what is and always has been right in front of you. That is what “fake-woke” consists of, and why it’s morally reprehensible to the people of color who see it and call it out for what it is.
You can choose to be blind, believing in the completely false Horatio Alger bullshit story of American meritocracy, blaming the victim for circumstances they didn’t sign up for, that you and I perpetuate.
As Mcghee writes,
Color blindness has become a powerful weapon against progress for people of color, but as a denial mindset, it doesn’t do white people any favors, either. A person who avoids the realities of racism doesn’t build the crucial muscles for navigating cross-cultural tensions or recovering with grace from missteps. That person is less likely to listen deeply to unexpected ideas expressed by people from other cultures or to do the research on her own to learn about her blind spots.
In other words, in precisely the same way that avoiding exercise and proper nutrition robs our bodies of strength and endurance, our chosen ignorance and blindness rob us of our abilities to function effectively in an increasingly diverse world.
Diversity Will Be the Only Reality
Within a few decades diversity will be the ONLY reality, and if you and I don’t build the mental and emotional muscles to deal with it as adults, we will be swept away. For the people of color we cannot see have indeed been building and flexing those muscles all this time, and inviting us to view the landscape as it is, not as we might wish it to be.
If you’re a woman in Congress & trying to pass a law, get a White male cosponsor.
If you’re a minority out with a White friend & trying to get a taxi, let your friend get it.
If trying to sell your house while minority, have a White friend stand in for you.
#Allyship is an active process, but the utilitarian gains from the instantiation of such beneficial social contexts doesn’t require the awareness of either the minority actor or White actor to manifest in the outcomes of the implicitly biased partner