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People Like Us

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Journal Entry One: David Brooks, “People Like Us”, pages 22-28 of Across Cultures Q: Brooks maintains that people like to group themselves with others who are similar to themselves. What factors are mentioned that might provide a center of association for individuals? A: Some factors Brook mentions which causes individuals to group themselves together are economical status, background, level of education, and geography. As brook states “We are finding places where we are comfortable and feel we can flourish” (23). For example, people are aware that in order to run a business such as a motor-home business they have to go to a place such as Monroe, County Pennsylvania since they will wind a massive amount of people who share this passion.

Another factor that Brooks related to was to whom you marry. Brook mentions “Americans tend more and more to marry people with education levels similar to their own, and befriend people with background similar to their own, it is human nature” (24). As brook argues, people want to be around others who share similarities and a common background. This is just the way that most people think they will be more satisfied. Q: In paragraphs 13 and 14, Brooks argues that “institutions that talk most about diversity often practice it the least” What evidence does he use to support this statement? Rodriguez 2

A: As Brooks says elite universities {Institutions that talk the most about diversity} often practice it the least. An example that Brooks mentions in his essay is “How no group of people sing the diversity anthem more frequently and fervently than administrators at just such elite universities” (25). This quote represents Brooks argument directly because if elite universities talk so much about diversity, how come they are the ones that practice it the least? In fact, a study done by the Conservative Center for the Study and Popular Culture and the American Enterprise Institute concluded “That roughly 90% of professors registered as Democrats at Brown University…These results were also common in Penn Sate, Harvard, and Maryland” (25). These statistics causes Republicans to not feel welcomed in places such as Brown, which as Brook mentions also damages the cause.

The fact that most people are scared to make that first step, and try to break tht boundary. If universities were more diverse than it should be a number like 32% registered Democrats and 31% registered Republicans (25). Certainly these types of statistics would symbolize an institution that not just talks about diversity, but represent it. Q: After you finish reading this essay, what conclusions do you come to about how Brooks feels about the segmentation that exists in America? What are some concrete effects of seeking out “people like us”? A: Brooks feels that the segmentation existing in America is because of human nature. Brook mentions how “The dream of diversity is like the dream of equality. Both are based on ideas we celebrate even as we undermine them daily (25). Brooks arguesdiversity in America is a problem that gets overlooked daily, in fact he finds the Rodriguez situation appalling how Americans can be so narrow minded since most of us cant tolerate a few ideas significantly different from our own (26). Brooks states diversity is something that needs to be worked on because people keep undermining it. An example of a concrete effect in seeking out “people like us” that Brooks mentions is the lack of diversity; however, Brooks is aware, that individually, it does have positive sides.

For example, people are happy when they are among others who are of the same political party and share a similar background. This reasons causes certain places such as Monroe, County Pennsylvania to be a top five in motor home-friendliest county in America (24), since anyone with an interest in motor-homes know that this is a welcoming place. Another effect of seeking out “people like us” is the racial neighborhoods that form throughout. For example we all probably have heard of some neighborhoods being referred to as ‘black neighborhoods or ‘Mexican neighborhoods’. As Brook mentions, for example, lets say a black family was asked to live in the same house of, have the same expenses but in a ‘Mexican neighborhood’ and they will most likely not take that offer. This is what people are finding normal. The problem, as Brook argues, happens when people start seeing diversity (whether it is racial or not) as a problem, like if it were bad for a black family to have a Mexican neighbor.

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