Summary Of People Like Us

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Analyzing “People Like Us” “People Like Us” by David Brooks examines diversity in America and argues that even though society tends to idealize diversity in a way, most of us don’t really care too much about it as long as we are happy. In the first paragraph Brooks states “ what I have seen all around the country is people making strenuous efforts to group themselves with people who are basically like themselves”. This is something that most of us notice on some scale, but what does it say about the need for diversity in America? Brooks explains “The United States might be a diverse nation when considered as a whole, but block by block and institution by institution it is a relatively homogenous nation” This is an irrefutable truth, we all know that cities like Laredo Texas and Lincoln Nebraska are predominantly white and in cities like Detroit Michigan and Jackson Mississippi the population is predominantly black. However, what we fail to realize is the extreme racial separation that is taking place naturally at a much smaller scale, not even city to city but neighborhood to neighborhood and house to house. Brooks backs up his claim with the following example, “In Manhattan the owner of a three million dollar SoHo loft would feel out of place moving into a three million dollar Fifth Avenue apartment”. Politics, religion, income, lifestyle and general outlook on life can change in a matter of blocks. This may all seem Bjurstrom-2 coincidental but as Brooks said people make strenuous efforts (usually subconsciously) to make this happen. This leads us to yet another piece of evidence that supports Brooks thesis. According to “The Bell Curve”, “ If you had chosen [friends] randomly from the American population, the odds that half of [your] twelve closest friends would be college graduates would be six in a thousand”. Obviously you wouldn't have to ask six thousand college graduates to find one with six friends who were also college graduates which gives weight to Brooks claim. This is all the result of a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy in which people look at community that is, for example mostly white or rich or christian and decide that one, they fit in and would like to live there, or two, they
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