The Danger of a Single Story

 

 

An exercise based on Chimamanda Adichie’s speech “The Danger of a Single Story”, about how we shape our world view and what role prejudices play in that.

Purpose

The students are given the chance to reflect on how we get information about other people, cultures and countries.
They will discuss what prejudices can lead to, and how facts can give us more knowledge, new perspectives and a greater understanding for others.

Method

Ask the students to view Chimamanda Adichie’s TED-talk “The Danger of a Single Story” on www.youtube.com (17 minutes in English).
Then, place the students in groups and hand out the following discussion questions.

Time: Approximately 1 hour

Discussion questions

    1. What did you think about the video?
    2. What do you think is the “single story” about Finland or Finns?
    3. Do you have a “single story” about other countries or peoples?
    4. Do you agree with Chimamanda Adichie’s argument that “single stories” are problematic;
    ”The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story”.

    5. What do you think has contributed to your own prejudices
    6. How do you think one can combat prejudice?

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