Cultural and Social Influence on Bias

The biases we may hold can vary greatly depending on our cultural and social context.

Consider the following cartoon by Malcolm Evans. What do you think the core message is? Your interpretation and opinion will depend on your own lived experience as well as the ways you may or may not have engaged with cultures different to your own.

Your interpretations and opinions can also change over time- how a person may react or respond to something today may be quite different to how they may have reacted at some point in the past, or how they will react at some point in the future. This might relate to events that take place around the world, in your home country, and in your workplace.

Image description: Cartoon drawing depicting two female figures standing next to each other. The woman on the left is wearing a white bikini with black polka dots, and has sunglasses on her face. She is carrying a handbag while she looks over to the woman on the right. The woman on the right is wearing a black and blue burqa or veil which covers most of her body, and she is looking back at the woman in the bikini. Each woman has a thought-bubble above their head, capturing what they think of the other woman. The woman in the bikini thinks to herself, “everything covered but her eyes. What a cruel, male-dominated culture!” Meanwhile, the woman in the burqa thinks to herself, “nothing covered but her eyes. What a cruel male-dominated culture!”

Image sourceMalcolm Evans (2011)

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