Valerie Wu
Aug 13, 2017

Dominant Narratives

1 comment

Edited: Aug 13, 2017

Communities each have their own cultures. As a Chinese American, I've found that Chinatowns act as a "safe haven" for many who share an ethnic identity. Yet there's also a negative side to these communities; stereotypes exist for all cultural groups. An example: when I visited the South Bronx, a Hispanic woman stated that everyone seemed to view a predominantly Hispanic/Puerto Rican community as "dangerous." In reality, the crime rate wasn't particularly greater in that community than the crime rates in any other neighborhood in America. However, not many individuals were willing to see past that stereotype. Chinatowns have often been wrongly viewed as "breeding grounds" for the "model minority" as well. How do you think we can raise awareness of these social issues? Why is it important to challenge these dominant narratives?

Tuhin Chakraborty
Aug 13, 2017

I feel like the best cure for this is openness. Psychologically, humans do not like to feel excluded, and Chinatowns or other enclaves often feel very exclusive due to obvious language and culture barriers. This may prompt people to construe stereotypes because they don't know any better. Therefore, by making these places more accessible (i.e. by opening popular shops and downtowns in these areas with a larger english-speaking presence), all Americans will be able to see for themselves that people of different ethnicities are not what they were originally made out to be.

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