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oboulobrooks - Tal 1 Oded Tal Prof Astrid Wimmer WRT...

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Tal 1 Oded Tal Prof. Astrid Wimmer WRT 102 “People Like Us” by David Brooks David Brooks’ “People Like Us” is an analytical essay on the issue of diversity seen from the eyes of the author. Brooks takes an emotional point of view of the way in which we take for granted how diverse our nation is although it is “relatively homogeneous” when looked at closely (Brooks 423). He believes that it is our nature to group ourselves with those who we are most alike, and in doing so, separating ourselves from those who are different. Using certain statistics to support his argument, Brooks points out that the segmentation created by us will always exist everywhere for one reason or the other. Brooks argues that no matter where one goes, they will not find a neighborhood that is diverse in which no one is alike. He uses the idea of human nature to support this belief, saying that those who come to America naturally live near those that they have similarities with, whether it is their beliefs, race, or even educational level. Reasons such as racism or “psychological comfort” can attribute to this phenomenon, however Brooks argues that we act this way subconsciously (423). Brooks makes the point that we associate diversity with racial integration and that by being with the people we have most in common with, we are happy. Most of Brooks’ argument is supported by his use of statistics that he has apparently researched. For example, he introduces the strategy of certain marketing companies that divides the nation into groups based on their lifestyle, each group having a similar taste or preference. One example given is the firm Claritas, “which breaks down the U.S. population into sixty-two psycho-demographic clusters, based on such factors as how much money people make, what
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Tal 2 they like to read and watch, and what products they have bought in the past” (423). One of Brooks’ main pieces of evidence is how people with similar educational levels seem to congregate. He gives us the statistic that 90 percent of professors in certain universities that are “in the arts and sciences who had registered with a political party had registered Democratic” (426). These small facts give the reader little room to argue against Brooks, however they are associated with very specific subjects such as education, which does not include the vast amount of neighborhoods he is taking into account. On the contrary, the detail shows to what level diversity is not as extensive as we believe it to be, which is Brooks’ main point.
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