On the left below, please find an article for the Culture of Peace News Network and on the right the discussion related to this article. You are invited to read and join in the discussion by clicking on any of the questions listed here, or, if you wish, you may enter a new discussion question as described on the bottom of this page. Please take the time to check one of the boxes below as to whether this article should be given a high priority, a medium priority or no priority

Learn Write Read Home About Us Discuss Search Subscribe Contact
by program area
by region
by category
by recency

United Nations and Culture of Peace
Global Movement for a Culture of Peace
Values, Attitudes, Actions
Rules of the Game
Submit an Article
Become a CPNN Reporter

The danger of the single story

an article by Sergio Peņuņuri and Gabriela Contreras

The Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaks about the importance of having a complete vision of other cultures or persons before making a judgement about them. This is due to the fact that many Americans, Africans and Asians are fed very rigid stereotypes about other ethnic groups; publicity, family and the entire society give us strong ideas that are often wrong. We believe that to reach tolerance in every way, we must emphasize a global vision of knowledge about foreign cultures and manners.

click on photo to enlarge

The Nigerian novelist focus on the importance of reading as an effective tool to dissolve ignorance. Through reading about others, we can become informed in a straight way about social and cultural reality and not allow an uninformed society to influence us and create stereotype images in our mental context. The writer mentions that an "equilibrium of stories" can give us a 360 degree vision with respect to other peoples in the world, while stereotypes create a single story with a narrow "truth."

As Mexicans we identify with this situation because we have often been considered as lazy, drunk and always wearing a “sombrero” when it`s not true. This makes us consider if we may not have stereotypes about Africans and Asians as well.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Where do stereotypes come from?, And how can we overcome them?

* * * * *

Latest reader comment:

This discussion question applies to the following articles:

The danger of the single story
El peligro de una solo historia
Building competences to fight hate speech online

This report was posted on 02/22/2012.

If you wish to start a new discussion topic on this article, you need to register and log in. Then please copy the title of this article which is The danger of the single story and its number which is 707 and enter this information along with your discussion question and an introductory response to the question here.

A few stories are retained on the main listings if they are considered by readers to be a priority. If you have not already done so, please take the time to check a box below: should this article be considered as a priority?