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sarahk's picture

This week in class, we

This week in class, we talked a lot about community and the different concepts of "home," and our conversations reminded me of a conversation we had in the Core Gender Class last year about epistemic privilege. We talked a lot about the idea of exclusion from minorities, that minorities find a community in their marginalization, and thus actually make it impossible to band with other minorities or become de-marginalized because those who are not marginalized cannot reach out to them based on their lack of shared historical experiences, or lack of a shared "home." I thought this was a very pertinent thing to bring up with all this discussion of minorities banding together to "become" the majority, because it is a valid theory on why minorities cannot just band together magically.

Another pertinent article we read in that same class was by Michael Warner, and it was about the shared marginalized experiences of Christian fundamentalists and homosexuals. He argued that the two groups, although their ideologies are often considered polarizing and opposite, share a sense of marginalization in their minority. They also share exclusionary communities that give them a similar way of combining their ideology with their society.

In my Political Philosophy course this semester we read an article about a theory that people who live within diverse communities are the most inactive and most introverted and afraid people in the country. The theory was that there was more competition-driven productivity in more diverse areas, but there was less mixing of people and more people purposely excluding themselves from their neighborhoods. I think this is interesting when studied hand-in-hand with the "Home" article, which says that to not be home anymore means to realize that home was an illusion of coherence and safety based on exclusion of histories of oppression and resistance. It also states that there is a "jungle" outside of the home. Perhaps this theory of diverse communities being less able to trust each other has to do with the shattering of a sense of home or community. It definitely supports the theory that a community is based on shared and exclusionary values because if people in diverse neighborhoods do not have enough shared values or "homes" with the people who live around them, they lose their ability or motivation to trust one another.

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