Shankar – critique of multicultural events
Shankar criticizes a particular multicultural event for, among other things, the overrepresentation of stereotypes. “You don’t really learn anything,” says one of the participants about the event (Shankar 127). I have made similar observations: students are expected to perform or showcase the most traditional, if not stereotypical, aspect of their ethnic identity, thus often oversimplifying their racial history and suppressing their personal identity.
If I were to organize a multicultural event, I would focus on bringing the students together rather than tasking them to represent their entire culture. One such way is to focus the event on asking questions: let us assign each student to learn something new from 3 people of different backgrounds. Such an approach should encourage proper communication rather than the mere propagation of stereotypes.
Grasmuck and Kim – ethnic-racial boundaries
While Grasmuck and Kim’s description of campus grounds’ racial ‘layout’ must be accurate, it does not align with my own experiences. Some areas can be attributed to a particular ethnic-racial group, but those are rather exceptions associated with specific organizations. With the transition to Zoom classrooms, such tendencies have become near impossible to identify.
The paper focuses on students’ accounts to understand the nature of group boundaries but does not discuss how the administrative bodies address race, diversity, inclusion, and equity. Furthermore, authors note that on the campus, “the opportunities for affirming ethno-racial identities through homogeneous socializing are abundant” (Grasmuck and Kim 33).
If I were to advise on the inclusion and equity at Temple, I would recommend using social proximity to improve relationships between ethno-racial groups. I would even go so far as to advise teachers to place students from different groups into group or tandem projects as often as possible, especially when the students themselves would prefer to work only within their ethno-racial group.
Shankar, Shalini. Desi land: Teen culture, class, and success in Silicon Valley. Duke University Press, 2008.
Grasmuck, Sherri, and Jennifer Kim. “Embracing and Resisting Ethnoracial Boundaries: Second‐Generation Immigrant and African‐American Students in a Multicultural University 1.” Sociological Forum. Vol. 25. No. 2. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2010.