I was looking for a place to live in a city. The questionnaire included questions about the highest education attained. It struck to my head that what will be the importance of education in renting a living space. I asked the same question to the real estate agent who was helping me. It was clear very quickly that renters prefer people with higher education. She responded by suggesting that university education and professionals will get preference in screening application in a decent neighborhood.
The Difference Generated Bias
That comment led me to observe my unintentional bias towards the choice I make to associate. I went back to examine my younger life; I had a high school educated friend while I was at university. I was extremely busy with my study to contact that friend and subsequently lost the contact. When I look back in time and examine the loss of that friendship, I can feel that I might not have found that friend as academic as I am, or I might have thought that he was not that smart. The difference between education created a distance and eventually, a loss of friendship. Although I do not have many friends, I see a pattern in my acquaintance, a bias of level of education. When I am looking for a suggestion irrelevant to work; I tend to lean towards people with higher education; I listen to their opinions very carefully, and possibly follow them. It is effortless for me to overlook or completely ignore, often very apparent, to any suggestions or criticism from people of lower education than I am.
A difference in knowledge.
If I examine my current behavior, I want to associate myself with a person at least with university education. I like to talk about anything with an example, and sometimes I feel like; I have to make it extremely simple to make others understand. I believe that knowledge comes with education. That same belief led me to discriminate people based on their education level. At the same time, I am not alone to behave in that pattern. For examples, lawyers tend to belong in a group with lawyers rather than people in construction so as vise verse. The physicians feel they are superior to the entire team of hospitals.
The Calamity of Alienation.
The difference to the attitude based on education becomes a problem when a team or a group engaging in a common goal, but they come from a wide variety and level of education. This situation creates increased polarity in the dynamics within the group. Knowledge appears to divide that group. If we imply the same example at the societal level, it divides society as well. Usually, lower educated to perform more inferior compared to another counterpart. They lack resources adds their low self-esteem and confidence. The alienation of this group creates, even more, catastrophe to their growth, especially where the perception of an individual's achievement is intelligence and hard-work. The disadvantage of performance at the workplace comprehensively affects their financial and professional growth. These people of lower education labeled as "low class." They usually twirl in the vicious cycle of economic constraint and inability to pull themselves out of higher education. And once these constraints exist, the ability to plan for the future and make sensible decisions is also negatively affected.
Ignorance of Prejudice.
Education and knowledge itself become a box of limitation we do not want to explore beyond. Our prejudice and assumptions kick in a judgemental manner. Unintentionally, we listened and acquainted with those who possess an advanced degree and become assertive of others is a form of ignorance of higher degree holders.
The modern society is trying to solve racism and sexism, but virtually no one has attempted to address this societal situation. Nowadays, attempts are made to identify this situation, but we are still far from recognizing. It is not going away soon. Regrettably, we do not even know of discrimination based on education. Research has proved that there are psychological consequences of social inequality is far more damaging when we measure with schooling than income or occupation. The attitude that hard workers will succeed is still omnipresent, even when there are living proof to show that many factors beyond an individual's control can hinder potential.
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