Dr. Eurnestine Brown
Human Experience 102
8 November 2012
Real Accomplishments of the Genuine Individual
For an individual to be authentic and successful to oneself and the community, an individual must first have a basis for which to base the ideas on for comparison. In order for a clear and precise definition of a word, sometimes examples serve as a guide for a better understanding to more easily comprehend the full scope of the concept. In/Out group is tudied thoroughly in the book Perceptions of Ingroup and Outgroup Variability: A Meta-Analytic by Brian Mullen and Li-Tze Hu which demonstrates the psychological effects on the phenomenon. David G. Myers provides many examples of conformity and prejudice in an excerpt from his book Social Psychology that helps to define success and authenticity. Both topics are revisited in Glenn C. Loury’s Free at Last? A Personal Perspective on Race and Identity in America, where the author describes how real he and others are and how that plays a part in society. When Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his infamous I Have a Dream speech in front of thousands of supporters in 1963, there is no one that can doubt that there is only authenticity and success in his words. Sometimes success and authenticity can be found within their failures and some authenticity is found within fraud as within the movie Crash written, directed and produced by Paul Haggis. Within the realms of different texts, the definition, motivation, understanding, balancing, and application of authenticity and success are easily recognizable. David G. Myers explores the ideas of the predispositions that individuals consciously or not grow up around. Myers uses an example of a college football team when they win games; Myers states that there is a statistical bias on individuals forming noticeable groups on no logical basis other than to make them feel better when “their” team does something successful (Myers 4). Success being an achievement obtained and authenticity for feeling good for an achievement that an individual was not involved with is not authentic at all. Another view of success for some is money, power, and prestige; these things cause social inequality and jealousy (Mullen 23). Rich individuals of power usually enjoy their status and lifestyle and are then concerned on how to maintain or develop their wealth further (26). Myers declares that the social definition of who you are can also be who you are not (1); in not trusting others and pursuing self-interest or the interests of others, both success and authenticity is lost. This decline in success and truth of individuals reciprocates on the community and then snowballs downhill from there. Myers makes a clear point that if prejudice is expected, it makes it easier for people to follow suit which affects everyone around (6). If an individual is made miserable, then that individual unless the mood is swayed, will then spreads “being miserable” like a disease (Mullen 118). The “disease” poisons all who encounter it and the cycle could go unbroken. Groups do not determine who we are, but neither do individuals; the combinations of the two both shape them both. People in the ingroup’s relationship to the community would unfortunately likely to be seen as “popular” and “fun” while the outgroup suffers the side effects of the ignorance of society. These topics are further explored in Free at Last? A Personal Perspective on Race and Identity in America written by Glenn C. Loury. Loury demonstrates success and authenticity using ingroup and outgroup examples but puts an emphasis on race. Loury introduces the phrase “passing for white” which was coined for African Americans who looked Caucasian and could live a life with a lot less prejudice (Loury 3). Loury mentions that the idea disturbed him that an African American who was ambitious would have to choose between racial authenticity and personal success (4). This is a clear definition of...
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