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BIAS AND TOLERANCE
Understanding and teaching tolerance can help prevent anger and grief from escalating into bias and stereotyping in the classroom and elsewhere in society. For example, the historical events of 9/11 led to widespread anger and grief, and in many quarters resulted in bias or unfair judgments toward Muslims and people of Middle Eastern heritage. More recent events have resulted in similar biases. When there is an awareness of one’s own predispositions, which illuminate some form of prejudice, whether in favor or not in favor of someone or something, that awareness can be a compass that helps to direct anger and grief into more productive outlets. Appropriate resources related to biases and tolerance may support additional consciousness when working with affected communities.
An Arab American family entered a human services office seeking services, including food, housing, and counseling for their family. After completing the necessary paperwork, the Arab American father explained to the intake worker that the family has encountered biases in the United States, and because of this treatment they were anxious about coming to the office to obtain assistance for the family.
While waiting to be assisted by the assigned human services case worker, the family noticed the majority of the other families waiting to be assisted for various services moved to sit on the other side of the waiting room. As awkward as this felt for the Arab American family, they sat and waited to be assisted.
After a few minutes of waiting, a passerby said to the Arab American family, “Why are you here? We don’t want any trouble. We are all here needing help, trying not to die.” Seconds later, a Muslim American case worker greeted the Arab American family and apologized for the passerby’s behavior. She escorted them to her office to further assist them with the human service resources they were seeking. A different European American case worker greeted the passerby and escorted him to another room to address his adverse behavior towards the Arab American family.
As you consider this scenario, write a 3–4 page paper that responds to the following:
Explain how it was biased for the passerby to assume the Arab American family was dangerous.
What can be done to educate the passerby, so they understand how their assumptions were biased and to improve/enhance their tolerance.
Evaluate your own cultural beliefs and theories and attitudes about immigrants of color coming from non-European countries. What are some attitudes you’ve heard or believe as an American? Describe what you would do to ensure those beliefs do not interfere with your professional obligation to assist these clients?
Cite and describe at least three scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles that can be used to understand and teach tolerance, and if possible, provide a link to each one.
Evaluate each article that focuses on cultural competence and explain how it could be incorporated into a plan of action for building tolerance in clients who exhibit bias towards others in a human services setting.
Explain why each article would be an effective part of your plan of action.
How might concern/fear about facing these biases affect this Arab American family seeking services? Provide specific examples of how this affects client functioning and clinical presentation.
How do “religion and culture,” come into play in incidents like this one? And why would they be related to client functioning and clinical presentation?
Propose a plan of action to deal with your own preconceptions about Arab and Muslim Americans and to ensure you respond appropriately as a human services professional.
Length: 3–4 pages in addition to the cover page and reference page.
Contents: Include a cover page, page numbers, and a running head.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point, and double-spaced.
References: Cite at least three references from peer-reviewed journals published within the last 5–7 years, in addition to your textbook.
APA: Use current APA style and formatting for the entire paper and for citations and references. Evidence and APA can help with that.
Rajiv is from India. He is in the United States on a special visa, working on a technology project. Most of the other workers on his project are Americans. Some of them resent Rajiv’s presence, thinking he is taking a job that should have gone to an American. Sometimes the work environment is tense.
Immigrants from Asian countries often face discrimination in America too. This week you will explore the experiences of Muslim, Arab, and Middle Eastern Americans, as well as the experiences of Pacific Islanders, Asian Indians, and Filipinos.
What You Need to Know
Use your Racial and Ethnic Groups textbook to read the following:
Chapter 11, “Muslim and Arab Americans,” pages 238–257.
Chapter 12, “Asian Pacific Americans: An Array of Nationalities,” pages 258–281.
Use the Capella library to read the following:
Bean, F. D. (2018). Growing U.S. ethnoracial diversity: A positive or negative societal dynamic? The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 677(1), 229–239.
This article notes that recent demographic change has resulted in an increase in the number of new ethnoracial groups. This has had some benefits. But Americans who have experienced fewer benefits from free trade, globalization, and immigration have felt left behind.
Craig, M. A., Rucker, J. M., & Richeson, J. A. (2018). The pitfalls and promise of increasing racial diversity: Threat, contact, and race relations in the 21st century. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(3), 188–193.
The authors of this article explore how the increasing racial and ethnic diversity in the United States affects White Americans’ attitudes and behavior within their own group and in interactions with other groups.
Craig, M. A., Rucker, J. M., & Richeson, J. A. (2018). Racial and political dynamics of an approaching “majority-minority” United States. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 677(1), 204–214.
The authors review recent empirical research that examines how exposure to information that the United States is becoming a “majority-minority” nation affects racial attitudes and several political outcomes like ideology and policy preferences, as well as the psychological mechanisms that give rise to those attitudes.
Craig, M. A., & Richeson, J. A. (2018). Majority no more? The influence of neighborhood racial diversity and salient national population changes on whites’ perceptions of racial discrimination. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 4(5), 141–157.
This article examines whether the size of racial minority populations is associated with Whites’ perceptions that different racial groups face discrimination.
Deaux, K. (2018). Ethnic/racial identity: Fuzzy categories and shifting positions. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 677(1), 39–47.
This article examines three issues relevant to the labeling and self-definition of ethnic groups in the United States: the creation and definition of identity categories; the subjectivity of self-definition; and the flexibility of identity expression.
Wells, A. S. (2020). Racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity across K–12 and higher education sectors: Challenges and opportunities for cross-sector learning. Change, 52(2), 56–61.
This article discusses the ways K-12 and higher education have addressed the increasing racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of their environments, including the application of learning theory, pedagogical approaches, and discipline policies.
Yang, R., & Charles, M. (2021). Traditional Asians? Race, ethnicity, and gender policy attitudes in the United States. RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, 7(2), 130–153.
This study examines racial and ethnic variability among Asian Americans in regard to gender and sexual politics. The study hopes to provide support for policies that would extend rights and protections to women and to sexual and gender minorities.