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  1. #21
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    A continuous slow trickle of diversity is what's best to keep things moving forward and not stagnating (stagnation = death). The unfortunate thing about this is that change is always upsetting to some people so there will never be peace on earth.

  2. #22
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    Assuming we are talking about ethnicity, I think it is great when applied to institutions like Universities and in the form international organizations such as the Goethe Institute.

    The problem is, the diversity/multicultural mantra is often utilized (mostly by Leninist deviates of Marxism) as a weapon against ethnicity itself. That is, imposing assimilation and atomizing community, even the basic nuclear family.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I guess when it destroys the fundamental sense of unity that undergrids the group in question; to the point that unity can only be maintained through arbitrary means. Too much diversity often leads to social fragmenation, as Robert Putnam's study showed.
    Thanks for the reference, I had never come across Putnam's work.

  3. #23
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alwar View Post
    Thanks for the reference, I had never come across Putnam's work.
    Here's a summary of it:
    IT HAS BECOME increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

    But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam -- famous for "Bowling Alone," his 2000 book on declining civic engagement -- has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.
    Read the rest here:
    The downside of diversity - The Boston Globe

    And a link to the actual study here:
    Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Diversity of ideas and perspectives can be good for group function, however I find diversity of things like race/gender/handicap is unimportant.
    I don't believe diversity in ideas is necessarily a good thing either. As our other thread on opinons about scientific maters shows (a.ka. answers to BASIC scientific questions).

    The question was intentionally general to see how people interpret it. But since we gained steam on race/ethnicity/gender etc... we can continue down that line, or not...I'm open to it either way.

    I definitely think that ethnicity and socioeconomics contributes to diversity of ideas. I'll link the study later on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The statement is a vague. What sort of diversity?
    Quote Originally Posted by Synarch View Post
    What is diversity? If people are all different anyway, what do we mean by diversity? Diversity of experiences? Of views? It seems complex. And, as such, it is probably both beneficial and yet detrimental to group function. Depends on what we mean by group function.
    These are interesting questions, and it is complex. Part of the challenge of this was to pick a particular interpretation. The request was intentionally vague.

    As expected the race/ethnicity angle became popular.

    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Diversity in skill obviously makes a group more capable of dealing various problems, and delegating responsibilities for certain roles to specialists, thus increasing efficiency and stability.

    On the other hand, diversity of goals or motives, values if you will, tends to freeze a group in place or destroy it all together. If people aren't aiming for the same things, the groups functioning gets bogged down by the need to manage disagreements, plans stop working because of a lack of coordination in how they are to be formed, and the structure gets sabotaged by conflicts.

    Diversity in perception sort of floats half in half there. It can cause communication and comprehension problems that staggered the group's functioning, but the exchanging and comparing of perspectives can be innovative and enhance flexibility, which might prevent the group from being destroyed by presumptuousness.
    To be honest, I think that the best part of diversity comes when we overcome the different values, goals, and expectations. I will adddress that later as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Here's a summary of it:


    Read the rest here:
    The downside of diversity - The Boston Globe

    And a link to the actual study here:
    Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies
    Well, the results are not very surprising. But the question is what we do about it. Do we purposefully reduce diversity? I think not.

    Also, to balance out the research. Most of it is directed towards company dynamics, and the results are good for ethnic diversity.

    Studies: Diversity Spurs Workplace Creativity : NPR
    New Study Suggests Diversity Makes Companies Better : Rachelĺs Tavern
    Does Diversity Pay?: Racial Composition of Firms and the Business Case for Diversity (Cedric Herring's research)

    The "business case for diversity" perspective argues that a diverse workforce, relative to a homogeneous one, produces better business results such as greater corporate profits and earnings. In contrast, skeptics suggest that, in addition to dividing the nation, the emphasis on diversity introduces conflict and other problems that detract from an organization's ability to be effective and profitable. Using data from a national sample of for-profit business organizations (the 1996-1997 National Organizations Survey), this paper tests four hypotheses that are consistent with the business case for diversity thesis. The analysis provides support for all four hypotheses: racial diversity is associated with increased sales revenue, more customers, greater market share, and greater relative profits. Although factor analysis suggests that business performance and business volume are distinct, for both of these dimensions, there is a positive relationship between the racial diversity of firms and their business functioning. The implications of these findings are discussed briefly.
    So why the disparity between diversity being good for business but detremental for a voting population?

    I think this can be explained using the Tuckman model of group dynamics.
    Forming-storming-norming-performing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I know the theory was meant for smaller groups but I condier it a good analogy for what is hapenning here, too. My hypothesis:
    We are nominaly in the "storming" phase as a society, while companies can get nominally to the "performing" state.

    In Putnam's theory itself, he talks about bonding (within group relations) and bridging (cross group-relations), and explains that deteriation in bonding leads to deteriration in bridging. He has correlated our increased diversity in culture, with the effects specified in Peguy's post. But correlation does not mean causation.

    There are studies that show that in our internet based workplaces, and highly mobile working pupulations, we are actually living next to more and more similar people (as compared to the 70s and 80s). I don't recall the exact studies, but they were mentioned on the news earlier.

    I believe that this is the force that is actually breaking down our bonding relations. People stay inside and don't get to know their neighbors even though they have become increasingly similar to themselves.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  5. #25
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    To be honest, I think that the best part of diversity comes when we overcome the different values, goals, and expectations. I will adddress that later as well.
    Since you said you'll address it later, I hope I'm not being hasty. But I notice that you use the word overcome. Overcoming our differences in goals still basically implies getting them out of the way and not having to worry about them anymore. It still seems like the best part of having different goals is the part where we no longer have to worry about it. And it is my opinion that two opposing goals simply can't be achieved. They both compromise or one is discarded. So overcoming means one of those two things happening.

    They way to counter this would be to explain some functional, beneficial impact that you think is uniquely (or at largely) a product of resolving differing goals.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  6. #26
    Sniffles
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    I'm a little worn out from my a long walk today, so hopefully I'll address ygolo's arguments later.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Well, the results are not very surprising. But the question is what we do about it. Do we purposefully reduce diversity? I think not.
    I don't think we need to purposefully reduce it. I think it we'd see a reduction in diversity, naturally, if we stopped promoting it. It's not a natural human state. Most people want to be around others like themselves.
    "We grow up thinking that´╗┐ beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are´╗┐ easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of´╗┐ a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #28
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    I tend to agree with the last couple of posts. Diversity in itself is not necessarily a good thing. To say that it is unequivocally good means that any problematic situation could be alleviated simply by adding diversity (race, ideology, sex, etc.). If an organization that enjoys the benefit of having indoctrinated all of its members into its culture, diversity can hamper performance. On the flip side, if an individual that possesses unique skills has been indoctrinated culturally, that could be a good thing.

    A recent article in the NYT describes the increased interracial friendships formed between interracial roommates. However, rooming with Asian American roommates caused other individuals to reinforce their stereotypes against Blacks and Hispanics. This goes to show that the dynamic is more complicated than just "diversity is good."

    This is also why I don't agree with Victor's reciprocity is good.
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  9. #29

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    Why have a group without diversity, it is no more use than an individual.
    Freude, sch├Âner G├Âtterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Br├╝der, Wo dein sanfter Fl├╝gel weilt.

  10. #30
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    Why have a group without diversity, it is no more use than an individual.
    But, but, an indiviual with like 10,000 arms and legs that aren't all stuck to each other.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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