Outside Your World: Analysis of Diversity in Socio-Economic Status

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Step Outside Your World Analysis The activity that I selected for this project was to pretend to be a homeless person and then go into a public restaurant to have a meal. I chose this project because diversity frequently focuses on immutable characteristics such as race and gender, but so much of diversity is focuses on socio-economic status. In American society, socio-economic status can be a huge predictor of the treatment that people receive, and, clearly, homelessness is an indicator of the lowest socio-economic status possible. In addition, many homeless Americans have underlying mental health and substance abuse issues that have contributed to their homelessness. In fact, a "study of people with serious mental illnesses seen by California's public mental health system found that 15% were homeless at least once in a one-year period (citing Folsom et al., 2005). Patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are particularly vulnerable" (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2009). Both the mentally ill and the addicted are frequently treated, not like human being suffering from diseases or disorders, but people who have chosen to behave in a nonconforming manner with the ability to change their status without societal intervention. Because of these public conceptions that are so ingrained with the idea of homelessness, many people react with fear and disdain when they see a homeless person, which can obviously provide a barrier to communication. I chose to
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