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A Single-Story Perception – “The Danger of a Single Story”

Today, many people consume information online, which leads to a distortion of their understanding of certain events because social media tend to channel one-sided perspectives. In her speech “The Danger of a Single Story,” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie contends that being familiar only with one aspect of complex phenomena entails negative consequences (TED, 2019). The idea outlined by Adichie is correct since knowing a situation only from one angle leads to a narrow worldview, the perpetuation of a status quo, and causing moral harm to others.

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Personally, I often meet individuals who express single-story views on various subjects, and they tend to have an extremely limited perception of the world. Recently, I discussed COVID-19 vaccination with an acquaintance who said that vaccines killed people. Despite my counterarguments, the person was still refusing to accept that there could be dual perspectives on the issue. Additionally, as pointed by Adichie (TED, 2019), single stories are often associated with power and the narrative it constructs. There are still individuals who perceive all people in Africa as poor, which is symbolic of their society’s status quo in terms of the failure to recognize the diversity of the continent.

Moreover, a single-story mindset also can cause people to unintentionally harm others’ feelings and jeopardize their mental health. For instance, when meeting foreigners, I always espouse person-centeredness and treat them with dignity, unlike some of my acquaintances who tend to list all stereotypes they know about the person’s country. Their behavior may make people embarrassed and unwelcome, and I believe that the ethic of care should always prevail in communication to prevent such situations.

Knowing only a single story leads to negative effects such as a narrow worldview, leaving the status quo unchallenged, and inflicting harm to others. People who view issues only from one perspective tend to refuse to accept other points, and unwillingness to discover other aspects of certain phenomena contributes to the perpetuation of false narratives constructed by those in power. A single-story perception also leads to the creation of harmful stereotypes, and therefore people have to understand the value of plurality and diversity.

Reference

TED. (2009). The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [Video]. YouTube. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "A Single-Story Perception – “The Danger of a Single Story”." August 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/a-single-story-perception-the-danger-of-a-single-story/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "A Single-Story Perception – “The Danger of a Single Story”." August 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/a-single-story-perception-the-danger-of-a-single-story/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'A Single-Story Perception – “The Danger of a Single Story”'. 12 August.

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