Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Danger of a Single Story



This is a brilliant talk, from the perspective of a Nigerian novelist, about how stories define "others" and create stereotypes. I think it's a "must see" for anyone working in Public Affairs. Of course, the use of the "single story" is a technique that has often been applied intentionally to achieve a social or political end (could we call it propaganda?). It raises the question of ethics, and whether means justify ends. Telling a "single story"--even as it may achieve one's goal--often has pervasive negative consequences.

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