The error of perspective I am most guilty of committing is poverty of aspect or as we all refer to as tunnel vision. This week in our weekly discussion board the question was asked about falling into the trap of overgeneralizing a group. I immediately thought of the stereotype everyone has towards certain people of the same ethnic group to include myself. We humans often develop tunnel vision and only see what we choose to see not realizing that by doing this latter we might be committing bigger errors such as overgeneralization and stereotype.
I recently took a sociology class called multicultural diversity. It really opened up my eyes about different stereotypes towards certain ethnic groups. According to Ruggiero (2012), “ a stereotype is an overgeneralization that is especially resistant to change. The most common stereotypes are ethnic and religious” (p. 119). I fell into the trap of stereotyping the people using welfare. I came to believe that the only ethnic groups on welfare were Hispanics and Blacks. I’ve heard it my whole life from all types of media. I never really bother to do research because I had never heard otherwise and in all actuality, some of my family members to include my parents were using welfare. This is where my most common error of perspective came into action by giving me tunnel vision. In Dunker’s view, poverty of aspect is “the chief characteristic of poor thinking” (p.103). My poor thinking, disinterest and maybe the fear of proving this to be truth kept me from wanting to learn about it.
The class I mentioned above provided me with very interesting facts. As I mentioned before everyone is being led to believe the recipients of welfare are mostly Hispanics and Blacks when in reality the higher percentage of welfare recipients are white. Most of them live in the suburbs and not the ghetto or projects, and the majority of them don’t want to be on welfare for more than two years (Davidson, 1997). Another stereotype about welfare that I discovered not to be true is one many people believe that women on welfare keep having kids so they can get paid more. The truth is for every additional child you have, depending on the state, you will get less than $40 a month (Davidson, 1997). Davidson (1997) also states that the government grants a mother and two children in the median state $366 per month. Last but not least, the number one stereotype is that welfare users are lazy and don’t want to get a job. The main factor here is the difficulty to find a job and be able to afford a child care institution for the children in that family. There is a lot of discrimination towards single mothers and the low-wage and no-benefit jobs available to most welfare recipients simply do not pay enough to lift a family out of poverty (Extra, 1995).
I was lacking the education and data towards this very interesting topic, which is a very common mistake that most of us have when we overgeneralize and develop tunnel vision. We commit this unsound reasoning on a daily day basis that sometimes we don’t know were doing so, just like I was by believing Hispanics and blacks are always at the bottom because people talk about us minorities as such. I gained tremendous knowledge by doing little research and proving this stereotype to be untrue. If everyone were to correct their errors of perspectives, procedure and expression by doing a little research in whatever subject matter, it could completely change their outlook and way of thinking. If this error were to be corrected in this situation there would be less discrimination towards single mothers and certain ethnic groups. Instead of judging them they could possibly give a little more respect for trying to survive in this cruel economy we currently live in. According to Ruggiero (2012), “unless you recognize the limitations of your experience and discipline your mind to broaden your outlook beyond the familiar, to examine all relevant points of view, and to...
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