<Title of the academic institution>
The nature of the offered experiment with temporary self-identification with a minority group throughout a specific exercise with a ping-pong ball and a sock is indeed both interesting and challenging. It provides students with both theoretical underlining of the main concepts of discrimination and allows experience the feeling of being a member of a subordinate group, even if it is merely an innocent game. On the other hand, although the intention of the author of the training is more or less transparent and obvious, it is yet an open question whether her or his conclusions fit in the context of the existing reality, be it from the ideological, cultural, political or social points of view.
The point of the exercise is to make oneself unfit for the surrounding reality by the means of the deliberate limitation of physical capabilities of an individual. In a narrow way, an individual is supposed to keep the right hand non-functional (by holding a ping-pong ball and wearing a sock around the palm all the time) and has to handle the daily office and home routine by her or his left hand only. According to the author’s plan, this endeavor within several hours has to demonstrate the nature of prejudice and discrimination and alter the attitude of students regarding these phenomena.
The theoretical background behind this exercise is understandable. Lefties, both natural and artificial, are the minority among the modern population in every country in the world, and the environment in general, as well as certain devices in particular, may not be always entirely fit for them. The consequence of such understanding, however, is far from clear.
The fact of being a leftie (temporarily or permanently) does not mean being a minority in a social and cultural meaning of the word. The fact that coffee cups or bottle openers may not be quite convenient for lefties does not make them a subordinate group in comparison to the right-handed majority. Such division has no social or ideological background and may be only perceived as a form of the physical diversity. Furthermore, the cultural differences among these two groups of people are negligible, and the phenomenon of marginalization of the minority is entirely beyond scope.
There is a question of whether there is a structured or an ideological discrimination of lefties. From the personal experience throughout the exercise it may be concluded that there is none. Most of the devices in public areas, be it at the office or in transportation, are designed for the righties due to the simple reason of practical and economic nature. If a leftie needs some special items or services, he or she may easily adjust the existing facilities on a personal basis. Regarding individual prejudice and subsequent discrimination, there were no displays of a negative attitude throughout the exercise, even despite the fact that the sock on the right hand looked unusual, to say the least. As for the thoughts of the beholders, this is the area of their privacy and may not be assessed within this particular case.
It may be inferred that there are many groups of minorities, and the overwhelming approach to them is not always applicable. It would be better if the exercise used the differentiation mechanism of the cultural or ethical nature, in this case the outcome would be more transparent and assessable throughout the mechanisms of differentiation and stratification, as they were explained throughout the course.
Let’s be Lefties for a Day!(Assignment). Ethics and Diversity: Legal Applications in the Workplace. DeVry University. Retrieved on 5 March 2014.