Reflection on Diversity

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Everyone has had at least one experience in life where he or she felt like “other” or perceived someone else as “other”. Some of us have had experiences where we have made a connection with someone who was “other”. Merriam-Webster defines “other” as “one considered by members of a dominant group as alien, exotic, threatening, or inferior (as because of different racial, sexual, or cultural characteristics). This is someone who is perceived by the group as different and not belonging in some way.

I recently went through a life change and found myself in the position of “other” frequently. I was going through a divorce and I was dating someone who was also going through a divorce. In the early stages of dating, I met all of my significant other’s friends and we would spend a lot of our time with them. I found that I was about ten years younger than most of them, or just a few years older than their kids. They had all been friends with my significant other and his wife for years and would frequently spend time together, go on vacations together and some had even gone to college with them.

This group of people consisted mostly of prominent business owners, doctors and engineers. Their wives were all college educated women that had been stay at home moms since they had gotten married. I was much younger than these women, a mother of three young children and working two jobs. While everyone was always cordial, I often felt very out of place and was obviously in a situation of “other”. This group all had common interests, lifestyles, backgrounds and an achieved status-“The social position that results from actions or behaviors on our part or the part of others (husband/wife, parent, doctor, etc.)” (Weekly Lecture).

I attribute the greatest contributing source of feeling like “other” to the fact that I was a mother with a full-time job. While, according to Bell, Nearly 60% of women with children under 5 work outside the home (Bell, 250), I was made to...
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