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Dr. Agar discussed next. He then went on to introduce the concept of “deficit theory”, and this is defined in his words (1994) as “noticing all the things a person lacks compared to you” (p. 23). He then goes on to discuss the fact this mode of thinking is used primarily by number-one types.I must admit these interpretations of what I had previously viewed as cultural norms werea bit jarring, but they were also enlightening. I began to see the number-one mentality existed in many aspects of my life, and I had just never thought deeply about it before. In my mind, the number-one mentality is believing that your culture is superior to others, but the reason this mentality exists is to keep the culture unified. If people didn’t like their own beliefs and origins,
IF YOU AIN’T FIRST YOU’RE LAST3they would go out and seek or create their own. The deficit theory is the most natural way this mentality manifests itself. These topics are mutually inclusive meaning, “I believe my way is the best, and anyone who disagrees is less intelligent or enlightened than me.” These ideas play a role in our lives every day.Agar’s example of the American mentality is succinct and relatable for me. However, it isdifficult to pinpoint these things until they are brought to one’s attention. After reading Agar’s definition of these ideas, I began to think about their ability to be applied to my daily life. On a scale that is quite literally more close to home, these concepts are displayed in state pride. Recently, I had a friend from Maryland point out to me that Texans are disproportionately proud of their state and cultural roots. We always spend time joking about state pride and the
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Texas Revolution, number-one mentality, Dr. Michael Agar, deficit theory