Writing 140/ IR 100
December 7, 2007
Unity and Diversity: Finding the Proper Balance
Unity and diversity are both qualities to be desired within society. Both, when balanced with one another, provide for the strongest form of society in which all are unified under some ideas, but differences are tolerated and accepted. One of the strongest factors of determining the present status of unity and diversity is the current state of affairs within a community. The current state of affairs can be altered by a number of issues, some planned and recurring, such as elections years, and some unexpected altogether, such as natural disasters. Within the global community, the current state of a variety of affairs greatly affects the balance of unity and diversity amongst the global community along racial, socioeconomic, gender, age, or political lines. Recent history provides many examples of unity and diversity shifting and changing in balance between each other. However, when in perfect harmony, unity and diversity are equally prevalent and provide for the most levelheaded decisions to be made and actions to be taken. Before delving into the instances that spur strong unity or strong diversity within society, the terms we are working with must be properly defined and understood. For the sake of this argument, unity can be defined simply as concord, harmony, or agreement among a number of individuals. Diversity, however, may be a harder term to classify for these purposes. As opposed to diversity meaning the presence of variety, it will instead be defined differently as a division amongst peoples. Unity and diversity are not normally considered antonyms of each other, and so comparing them can prove difficult. However, these definitions cause for them to become more opposing ideas, and so with these definitions we are now ready to tackle major instances of unity and diversity that have occurred from the recent past. Social movements are one major way throughout history in which the balance between unity and diversity in society is greatly thrown off. Whenever a nation is in the heat of social reform, there naturally grows a division between those who want change and those who want to maintain the status quo. An example from the recent past that illustrates this point is the social unrest within the United States from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. At this stage in America history, extreme diversity of opinion ran rampant and largely divided the nation along both racial, age, and gender lines. The youth movement that spawned during this time period was something new and unfamiliar to the existing generations of Americans. American youths, disillusioned mainly by the war in Vietnam and the seemingly uncaring federal government, began congregating to stage massive protests and express their grievances with the nation. Adding to this fire of discontent youths was an explosion of psychedelic drugs that created an even larger gap of misunderstanding between the young people in America and their older counterparts. Besides the diversity of opinion among the young and old within American society at this time, there existed an even stronger divide between the different racial groups of America. More specifically, the black community of America was tired of dealing with unwarranted intolerance and injustice, and so strong diversity of opinion formed between the black and white communities as to how to fix the issues. At this time, blacks in the south were staging massive protests and rallies against racial segregation, while on the west coast of America a new organization, known as the Black Panthers, put a new, more violent face on the drive for racial equality. An additional situation that arose within this time period was the push for feminine rights. This new protest began to alienate people along gender lines, as women wanted to change the current circumstance while males had little...