Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, January 21, 2019 11:18:12 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Beware the savior mentality

By
10th-Jan-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Mesmin Destin Ph.D.
Many of us have sat uncomfortably through cringe-worthy portrayals of "well-intended" people trying to use their position and resources to improve the lives of others. Some popular examples like Hollywood hits "The Blind Side" and "The Help" seem largely unaware of the condescending pattern that they exemplify. Other examples, like the group "We Got Y'all" from the series "Insecure," seem thoughtfully crafted to draw attention to the ways that good intentions can miss the mark. In psychology, any faculty member who conducts research related to social disparities in education is very used to receiving a regular stream of applications from potential graduate students who unabashedly hope to save those who cannot save themselves. The problem with this attitude, of course, is that it is often grounded in underlying assumptions about a group's inferiority or sometimes simply reflective of a person trying to cope with guilt about holding privilege in an unfair society. Ultimately, however, people know when someone's charitable approach does not genuinely appreciate their humanity or potential, which usually leads to more harm than good.
Despite this common pitfall, it is possible to work toward reducing inequality while acknowledging the strengths, assets, agency, and abilities of people who are disproportionately stigmatized, minoritized, and exploited by those around them. A recent special issue of the journal American Psychologist1 focused on reconsidering the idea of marginalization through approaches like "positive youth development," which aim to support desirable outcomes for young people by recognizing and leveraging their personal and social strengths that often go unrecognized in educational contexts. Some of the research in my lab aims to adopt a similar perspective by testing the effects of experiences and programs designed to provide students with the space to cultivate their interests and images of what they desire for their own future through what we call identity-based motivation2. In other work, my colleagues and I aimed to have a positive effect on the experience of college students by setting the standard that it is a strength to come from a background that might be seen as different from the norm, rather than something to overcome. When first-year students received these messages about difference as a strength through a panel of their peers, it had a particularly strong positive effect on the academic outcomes of students who were the first in their family to attend college3,4. It was especially important, though, that the message came from their peers and that it was not presented in a condescending manner that would actually convey low expectations for success.
Although it can be easy to express the values of positive youth development rather than a "deficit-focused" approach, it can be much more difficult to put them into action consistently. Rarely is a program or research study completely focused on student assets or completely oriented around perceived student deficits, but you can more often find some complex blend of the two. Rather than devoting our energy to condemning work that could do better, a more productive practice would be to always exhibit openness to constantly improving our own research, programming, or educational practice toward recognizing our biases and basing our work more squarely in the strengths of those who we aim to serve.
(Mesmin Destin, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Northwestern and a fellow of its Institute for Policy Research. He researches socioeconomic disparities in educational outcomes during adolescence and young adulthood).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Entertainment »

Munmun, Achol`s movie Ragi


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Last week shooting of Mizanur Rahman Mizan directed movie Ragi again started at BFDC in the capital’s Karwanbazar area. In the middle days, its shooting was stopped. This time Achol has been attached with the movie. After Achol’s engagement in Ragi, its shooting got momentum. In the ...

Sports »

Ko, Ji charge to LPGA lead with Henderson one back


New Zealand's Lydia Ko and South Korea's Ji Eun-hee each fired a five-under par 66 to share the lead after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Tournament of Champions.Ko and Ji charged into contention by going low on the front side and parring their way home to stand on 13-under ...

Football »

Salah fires Liverpool seven points clear, Arsenal rock Chelsea


Liverpool moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah's double inspired a dramatic 4-3 victory over Crystal Palace, while Arsenal ignited their top-four bid by beating Chelsea on Saturday.With second-placed Manchester City travelling to bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield on Sunday, Liverpool seized the chance to tighten ...

City »

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina being greeted by Home Minister, secretary and IGP during her visit to the Home Ministry yesterday.


International »

Trump offers 3-year protection for immigrants in exchange for border wall


The Washington Post :President Donald Trump on Saturday offered Democrats three years of deportation protections for some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding, a proposal immediately rejected by Democrats and derided by conservatives as amnesty.Aiming to end the 29-day partial government shutdown, Trump outlined his plan ...

Cricket »

Rangpur Riders beat Sylhet Sixers


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders beat Sylhet Sixers by four wickets in their match of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.Chasing Sylhet's fighting total of 194 for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs, Rangpur Riders reached the winning target ...

Sports »

Virat Kohli attends Australian Open, posts picture with Roger Federer


The Indian team completed its most successful campaign Down Under as they won the Test and ODI series comfortably. After close to two months of energy-sapping cricket, skipper Virat Kohli along with wife Anushka Sharma looked in a relaxed mood and attended day six of the Australian Open in Melbourne ...

Entertainment »

Alia , Madhuri Nene on the set of Kalank


Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Aditya Roy Kapur, Sanjay Dutt and Sonakshi Sinha star together in Kalank. Dharma Productions' next, Kalank, is being directed by Abhishek Varman. The film's shooting is currently on and Varun Dhawan wrapped up shooting for his part of the film just yesterday. However, ...

International »

Afghan Taliban reject talks with US in Pakistan


Reuters, Peshawar :The Afghan Taliban rejected reports in the Pakistani media that they were prepared to resume meetings with U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad in Islamabad and repeated their refusal to deal directly with the Afghan government.Pakistani newspapers and television stations reported that a meeting in Islamabad was in prospect ...

Editorial »

Bravery and courage of a Bangladeshi expatriate


FOR bravery and courage, a Bangladeshi expatriate has been honoured as he saved the life of a three-year-old boy in UAE. Bangladeshi expatriate Farouk, who works as a welder in Ajman of UAE, rescued the child thrown from the balcony of a burning apartment by his mother.Bangladeshi community in the ...

City »

Law enforcers stand guard for security measures on the occasion of victory rally of Bangladesh Awami League in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan. The snap was taken from TSC area of Dhaka University on Saturday.


City »

Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud speaking at the extended meeting of Awami League at the party office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue on Friday.


.

International »

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets


Reuters, New Delhi :A series of vote-catching measures planned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than 1 trillion rupees ($14 billion), two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.Much of the cost of the extra spending or revenue ...

Cricket »

Dhoni, Jadhav power India to ODI series victory


Agency :MS Dhoni and Kedhar Jadhav scored half-centuries as India won the third and final ODI against Australia by seven wickets at Melbourne on Friday to seal the series 2-1.Chasing 231 to win, Dhoni (87*) and Jadhav (61*) put together a 121-run partnership to take India home after the bowlers, ...

Entertainment »

Achol returns acting slowly


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular film actress of present time Achol has returned to acting but with the appearance of anger. Her elder sister Moonmoon is attached with the underworld. When she knows the matter she becomes anger. Achol will be seen by this way in Mizanur Rahman Mizan’s movie Ragi. ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news