Do you think it's harder for a majority group to understand the views of minority groups than vice versa?

It seems to me that a majority group's influence on culture makes it easy for a minority group to understand the views of the majority group.

Minority groups, on the other hand, don't influence the culture as strongly and so it seems to me that their views would be more difficult for the majority (and other minority groups) to understand.

Agree? Disagree? Questions? Comments? Personal attacks?

19 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Disagree. I don't think that it is group size that matters, but it is what you do with the understanding that really counts.

    That being said, the difficulty in "appreciating" the contra position is what is the show stopper, not "understanding" it.

    Now for one of my specialized personal attacks....

    Please punctually prepare perfectly poignant pronged prods for proper patient patient poking.

  • Amber
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    As a women of a 'minority' group, I didn't at all understand the comparison of black candidates being unpopular with hispanics, is that a fact? I'd think more of us would want to see a black win it because then we'd feel a victory that a 'minority' had won? I don't know of anyone who isn't white who'd rather see someone white win just so a black didn't solely because he's not their own particular race...it may be true, but I'd find it really hard to believe. Anyhow, I feel for visible minorities because there's no hiding it. Day in and day out ever single person you're in physical contact with can see you, if you have an accent every person you have even a phone conversation with knows you're not white, it's still a huge issue even though race issues have come such a long way. As for women, I feel a stronger connection to women's issues because I am a woman, just as I feel a stronger connection to issues of my own race. That doesn't mean I'd rally to have special advantages for "us", it just means all his equal, someone of my own race impacts me slightly more than someone of other races. That said, I care very deeply about all living beings (men, women, animals) and everything touches me deeply, regardless of gender, race or even species. Ever living being has emotions, and I feel a connection to every other living being. Personal experience makes me feel I can relate better to women, or those of my own race, and other visible minorities, because we've lived the same experiences, yanno? Someone not of a visible minority can't understand day to day life being one as I do and all visible minorities do, men can't truly know what it's like to live as a woman, I can't truly know life as a man...yaddayadda. Doesn't mean I value the individuals less, I just relate and can feel a bit more of an impact from those I'm more like than others.

  • 1 decade ago

    I, too, agree. The minority usually have experience with majority, and if they don't, have at least taken the time to understand the majority. Whereas the majority automatically believe they are wrong because of their differences and don't bother trying to understand them. But I personally am a part of the minority and have some difficulty understanding the majority, I've never experienced life as a part of the majority which plays an important role...

  • 1 decade ago

    Disagree. It isn't hard to understand the views if you take the time to. Educating yourself on such issues isn't difficult.

    The thing is, at least in the case of religion, the majority doesn't want to do that. They're already the majority, they think they're right and others are wrong with no definitive proof. And let's be honest...regardless of why anyone believes what they believe, all religions are a crapshoot. The only thing making one more powerful than another is the number of people following that particular religion.

    Respecting diversity, understanding the minority, that isn't good for business when it comes to religion.

    Oh, and for my personal attack: you're a poopyhead.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Minority groups have to adapt to fit into the majority culture. The reverse is not true. Also there is a certain amount of privelege associated with being the majority, hence they fail to see any reason to understand the minority.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I agree. My day is dripping with Christianity, so I understand it very well. In fact, it's in my best interest to be knowledgeable in the religion, since they hold the majority influence in my society.

    There is no similar motivation for the average member of the majority (ex. Christians), so they have little reason to care what the minority thinks. I believe it's in their best interest to be familiar with other cultures as well, but it won't be such a hindrance to them in society if they are not as it would for the minority member to be unknowledgeable of the majority's position / religion / culture / etc.

  • KL
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Totally depends on the personality type, I think.

    I've always been a majority who feels the plight of the minority so much that I feel more indentified with the minority than the majority. Sort of like, "I look like a country club white girl who went to a good college but inside I know I'm different and have always felt 'outside'".

    My husband, on the other hand, has a hard time understanding other people's situations generally, I think. His politics are very conservative and are honestly much stingier than he is (he's a lovely, generous person). I think he's just never been anything but a white guy with a great education who's the smartest guy in the room. It's weird though --- I'm much more charismatic and thus more 'popular' than he is, but I still feel much more like a loner and a freak than he does.

    I wonder if part of that is because I spent my growing up years in Memphis, which has hideous racial oppression and is 60% black, and he spent his in places like Santa Cruz, which is so much more homogeneous? Dunno. But I do think it's largely personality.

  • Laura
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I can see your point, but I think it's bigger than that. I think that the majority group has a hard time even opening its mind to consider the minority's point of view. I think if the minority's point of view was considered, in many cases, it would be understood.

    For example, in apartheid South Africa, I'm sure many, many white people were*able* to understand the views of the black (not minority, but minority voice). It's just so much easier to ignore the other's POV than to acknowledge that you do understand it.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree - you put it very well. I would also say that I see a minority group as constantly desiring not to be a minority, yet a majoity group does not struggle for the same (at least, ideological minorities). One (a minority) is trying to understand the other for necessity, the other (majority) only seeks to understand for triviality.

  • Serena
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Yes I would agree. And in terms of religion many members of minority groups were once members of the majority. So, they're able to understand more than one side, whereas many in the majority group are unable to understand the minority ones.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think it is equally difficult. Neither group really understands the other unless they take the time to go beyond the social generalities of the other. Knowing a few things about a group aren't really enough to understand them -- you have to go beyond the surface and try to see why people hold the views and perceptions they do, and that takes a lot of effort -- more than I think most are willing to invest.

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