Question

Chimamanda Adichie TED talk about "the danger of the single story" 1. Explain what a "single...

Chimamanda Adichie TED talk about "the danger of the single story"

1. Explain what a "single story" means. In your words, what does it mean to say that someone might have a "single story" about a culture, nation, person, ethical view, religion, etc.?


2. What is the danger of having a single story about someone?


3. Name one groups of people, culture, nation, religion, etc. in which you may have a single story about.


4. How might someone have a single story about you? If you are comfortable doing so, share an experience that defies this single story.

Homework Answers

Answer #1

1. The infamous talk "the danger of the single story" is one that has done various rounds on social media and has been much talked about. The important message that it attempts to convey is that children and certain other populations of the society are more vulnerable to what stories might have to offer. And these narratives therefore become important sources of their learnings- about culture, people, values, practices, etc. By saying that some people may have had a single story in all these given domains is to express the fact that many a times a certain cultural oractice or way of being is so stressed upon, that we forget about the existence of others. This indeed has a huge psychological and emotional impact of the mindset of those left out from these. It questions their sense of identity, self esteem and self worth in very many ways.

2. The danger of having a single story is that one develops disbelief in oneself, their own existence (since it is away from the dominant discourse) and questions one's very existence in various ways. This psychological conflict can cause major disequilibrium for the psyche of people who become the victims of this. In this case, she spoke about how blacks (Nigerian cultures) were isolated, discarded and even trivialised in the popular American culture that dominated her life throughout.

3. As a child I too read a lot of fantasy based novels which emphasised on older men, rich cultures, men dominating women in subtle as well as explicit ways, and woman looking for their sense of identity through their togetherness with a man. This too is popularization of one culture or one way of being.

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