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Do People want to be around with others who are somewhat like themselves, or look for...

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student90 | Student

Posted September 5, 2010 at 10:31 AM via web

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Do People want to be around with others who are somewhat like themselves, or look for same community agree or disagree and why? the reasons?

what makes them to stay in a certain group, or stay within the same kind a friends, in same culture, and same places. Why people look for the same community to live in community that is similar to them..

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 5, 2010 at 10:35 AM (Answer #2)

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There are probably as many answers to this question as there are people in the world.  We all want different things for different reasons.  I'll give you my view, but you should think about your own attitudes and include them in your answer.

For me, I do prefer to be around people that are somewhat like myself.  But the similarity I am looking for is not racial or political or even based on age.  What I want to be around (on a personal level) is people who have personalities that are similar to mine.  I do not want to be around people who are too much more or less outgoing than I am, for example.  Such people make me feel awkward.

In terms of where I live, all I want is people who will be similar to me in terms of being thoughtful.  I want people who will not have loud parties or anything like that.  So for my community, all I really care about is that people should be considerate of others.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM (Answer #3)

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I suppose I'll answer the question personally, rather than trying to speak for anyone else.  I have to be honest, my philosophy is that while opposites may attract (for friendship and close relationships) - they don't stay together.  I think when I was in college I liked being the voice of opposition for no other reason than to create conflict - I liked to stir up the hornets nest so to speak.  I found this to be even more true in environments that lacked diversity (of thought and experience).

Once I was ready to get married however, I knew I wanted someone fairly like-minded.  No matter how much I may enjoy friendly bantering and even intellectual conversations with people who have different opinions, I knew that constant arguments in a life long commitment would not be healthy in the long run.

Now that I am not just married but also a parent, I've found that my process of friend selection has narrowed even further from what I was willing to put up with in college.

This is not to say that I only surround myself with completely like-minded people.  Obviously, as an educator, I appreciate variety when it comes to thoughts, opinions, and experiences.  I actually feel more tolerant than many of my peers in my conservative southern community.  I think I'm just now starting to formalize my mental list of "deal breakers" though - the things that I will simply not choose to surround myself with.

When it comes to raising children, for example, I've found that I simply cannot stand being around the children of parents (or the parents themselves) who have a drastically different opinion of appropriate behavior as I do.  If I disagree with certain choices people are making, and it directly affects me or my children, I am apt to distance myself and my family in the name of personal sanity.  I agree with the above post - as I get older, I think I demand a higher level of basic manners and consideration from the people I want to live near, socialize with, and work for.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 5, 2010 at 11:20 AM (Answer #4)

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I think that some of the premises are fairly strong.  I think that different communities or individuals hold different positions about the notion of "sameness."  There are those who are eager to partake in the diversity of the heterogeneous community.  This allows them to better understand others and themselves in delighting in what Derrida would call, "differance."  The collection of divergent interests and expressions is what allows some individuals to feel zealously intrigued by what different narratives exist.  At the same time, others might feel a distinct fear of that which is different, causing them to cling to their own sense of sameness.  Others might wish to stay with those they know because of fear of some type of backlash against them.  I think of those groups who experienced discrimination or social ostracizing because of their treatment at the hands of others.  For this reason, there is a preference to stay closer to individuals who share their own experiences.  To be honest, I am not sure if there is one answer to this question, perhaps testament to the power of complexity and difference within all human beings.

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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 13, 2010 at 10:15 PM (Answer #5)

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In general terms, it's pretty clear people do prefer to associate most with people who are similar in beliefs, ethnicity, or whatever else identifies who people are.  That's why we have places like Little Italy and Chinatown, of course.  That's why local sports allegiances are formed and neighborhood boundaries are often drawn.  That's why people say they're "Southsiders" or "Eastsiders."  It's part of our social and even personal identities, and it show up in all kinds of ways.  That doesn't generally mean exclusivity, though.  At one time it did--think the "turf" war based on ethnicity in West Side Story or The Gangs of New York. That's probably not as true in today's more accepting world, though it's still much more comfortable for most people to be in an environment which is familiar.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 26, 2011 at 1:19 PM (Answer #6)

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People do seek out others who think, look and act like they do. It is easiest for us to be with people we understand and who understand us. We feel most comfortable in our own community, because it's what we know.

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