Page 1 – Ask for it
Read on a page
He's an Islamist there, an Emanze there. He's a racist, she's one
Good man, and over there sits a social parasite: To strangle discussions by one
Distributing pre-made labels is a convenient way. Then you have to deal with the
no longer employ the person behind it and their positions.
It is no secret: leading meaningful political discussions with people of other attitudes can be a strenuous undertaking. It is often more conducive to the self-image, to perceive dissenters as less thoughtful and to feel misunderstood in self-righteous manner. In any case, it rarely happens at points of contact with people who think differently, most of them surround themselves almost exclusively with like-minded people in both virtual and real life. An initiative to meet different opinions is "Austria speaks". The partner project of "my Country talks", one of
initiated international platform for political dialogue, is published in Austria by the daily newspaper
in cooperation with the
implemented and brings this Saturday at 15 clock thousands of people with different views in conversation with each other.
For contact, as social psychological research shows, is a comparatively simple measure to positively influence attitudes towards prejudiced groups. With regard to xenophobia as the universal lever of right-wing populism, this would mean encounters with strangers. Most people who refuse refugees have little contact with them in everyday life. Xenophobia is highest there, where one knows the alleged enemy only from the newspaper.
But the longing to settle in the shelter of simple collective identity is also great for educational citizens. While they see themselves as guardians of the truth, who look closely and understand, they often follow exactly the same principles as those who condemn them. The others outside their own circles are seen as an allegedly homogenous group that can either be persuaded and integrated or simply rejected.
To assume in the first place that one is right, is more pleasant for peace of mind and gives a comforting feeling of superiority. Once you've tagged your counterpart, it's placed in a folder. Subsequently, the dialogue aimed at understanding is ended. And here one arrives at a point where it is often confused: to understand somebody does not mean at the same time to have an understanding for another opinion, to approve of a behavior or even to agree with a foreign point of view. But it is essential for understanding to look closely. This is prevented, however, if the perceived attitude of the other person is taken more seriously than their viewpoints, or if empathy is restricted to members of one's own group.
This article is from TIME no. 42/2018. Here you can read the entire issue.
Dealing with others depends primarily on what goal you are pursuing. Final, derogatory ascriptions are often the easier way. Most people do not want to be the same, they want to differentiate and differentiate, even or even if in their self-description "cosmopolitanism" and "tolerance" are at the top. Even people from milieus with apparently the greatest possible liberality are looking for a framework that provides an easy-to-understand right-or-wrong rule for situations. The middle class's fear of social decline and the concomitant demarcation can be seen in many forms: from largely harmless practices such as the symbolic anchoring of the offspring in the bourgeois milieu by the naming ("Ferdinand"), to the contempt of the so-called lower class this supposedly also despises groups of people. You have to stay away from bad things and not expose oneself to inferior influence – already in the classroom you start to practice this behavior.