The Diversity Dictionary (II)

The “Diversity Dictionary” are posts where I try my very best to explain in plain English common words and phrases that we often come across while reading articles/papers/stories about multiculturalism and diversity. It’s always good to learn new lingo as learning is always good. It’s educational. Part I can be found here.

“Us” and “Them”

This phrase is used to compare people, in particular comparing people of different ethnicities or backgrounds.


One of the ways to be less afraid of and understand the ‘Other’ is to appreciate their cultures and even learn their language. Photo by Mabel Kwong.

Henri Taifel and John Turner have linked “Us” and “Them” to the concept of social identity theory which is the idea that a person’s sense of self is based on their membership of social groups such as class, age and faith.

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The Dark Side Of A Vibrant Chinatown

Chinatowns in Western cities across the globe are constantly dubbed as not only sites that are a home away from home for the Chinese living here but also multicultural hubs.

Hubs where non-Chinese locals can meander about, appreciate Chinese lifestyles/food/products and chat with their Chinese community members. Hubs that promote camaraderie amongst people of various races.

The back of the front entrance of Melbourne's Chinatown. The arches embody traditional Chineseness, but also stereotypical notions. Photo by Mabel Kwong.

The back of the front entrance of Melbourne’s Chinatown. The arches embody traditional “Chineseness”, but also stereotypical notions. Photo by Mabel Kwong.

Or so many of us think. There is always more than meets the eye and as clichéd as it sounds, we should never naively judge a book by its cover. Even Chinatowns.

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