Experience of Diversity

Experience is key not only for labour market success or life satisfaction. It largely determines our values as well. The recent survey from the Pew Research Center (link) reflects the importance of the experience of diversity in, for example, religious or spiritual matters. More heterogenous experience of diversity across lots of dimensions will contribute to a better mutual understanding and respect. Meeting persons who are different and experiencing the many facets of the other person similar to oneself will enhance the common ground. Curiosity to meet the other person rather than “more of the same” in encouters and friendship, this is the way forward. The sociology of social networks, part of my teaching at Jacobs University Bremen is able to support this perspective for several decades now.  Student accomodation with large diversity can be a fundamental experience which coins personalities. Tolerance is largely a product of experience rather than only teaching about stereotypes.

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