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View Poll Results: What divides more people : gender, intelligence, religion or social class ?

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  • 1.1 What divides people the most ? Answer => Gender

    1 4.55%
  • 1.2 What divides people the most ? Answer => Intelligence & Knowledge

    8 36.36%
  • 1.3 What divides people the most ? Answer => Religion

    10 45.45%
  • 1.4 What divides people the most ? Answer => Social Class

    11 50.00%
  • 2.1 What divides people the least ? Answer => Gender

    13 59.09%
  • 2.2 What divides people the least ? Answer => Intelligence & Knowledge

    4 18.18%
  • 2.3 What divides people the least ? Answer => Religion

    1 4.55%
  • 2.4 What divides people the least ? Answer => Social Class

    3 13.64%
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Thread: What divides more people : gender, intelligence, religion or social class ?

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post What divides more people : gender, intelligence, religion or social class ?

    This is one of my favourite discussion topic. :)

    In your opinion and experience, which of the following factors make it the more difficult for two individuals (e.g. a couple) to understand each other or live together ?

    1) Gender : the Mars and Venus polarisation; add to this the gays and bisexuals, and things get even more complicated.

    2) Intelligence and knowledge : intelligence is mostly innate, while knowledge is entirely acquired, through education, self-learning and experiences.

    3) Religion and (metaphysical) beliefs : a radical Muslim will have a hard time living with a convinced Atheist (and vice versa). Christians of different denomination (e.g. Catholic vs Baptist) and different strength of beliefs will also probably be in an antagonistic position.

    4) Social class : values, tastes, manners, lifestyle, living standards...


    Let's say that personality is defined by the combination of all the above, so please do not answer "personality".


    My views :

    In my experience, gender has been the least dividing of the 4 factors. Maybe that is because I belong to minority groups in the other three. In fact I have often had a better contact and more interesting discussion with women than with men. I think that (some) women have an appeasing effect on me, which makes it easier to be in their presence. When I get annoyed by women, it is usually for another reason than "gender conflict" - except if rationality is part of the gender division, but I doubt so as their are many rational women too (at least in some cultures and social groups).

    Intelligence and knowledge is often the cause of conflict between me and others, so I try to socialise with people similar to me, or avoid "serious discussions" with people who have had too difficult to understand me in the past. Let's say that I have more or less managed to cope with this difference. For most people (the "mainstream", as I see it) it isn't even an issue.

    Social classes are part and parcel of any civilised and specialised society. Only animals and tribal people (or our prehistoric ancestors) do not have to care about interpersonal differences in knowledge/education and social class. Let me emphasise the difference between "social class" and "social status". One's social status depends on one"s achievements or personal dominance over the others, and exists also among social animals (e.g. wolves, apes) and tribal people. Social class is the milieu into which we are born and raised, and which will influence our values, tastes, manners and lifestyle during all our life, whatever our socio-economic success.

    Personally I think that social class is a much more important factor in the way people socialise than gender, intelligence or knowledge.

    Religion wouldn't be a problem if nobody had one, which contrarily to the other 3 factors is possible. It also wouldn't matter so much if all religions were non-exclusive polytheisms. For instance, Buddhism and Jainism were absorbed by Hinduism. The Romans absorbed the deities of the conquered lands (e.g. the Egyptian and Celtic ones). Religion started to divide people when they became exclusive and intolerant of other beliefs. This is only true of a few religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, that have since "killed" most of the other religions in the world, and continue to do all they can to dominate the world. Naturally two radical individuals from two such religions will never be able to live together. It is as hard for one radical monotheist to live with a polytheist or a non religious person (even from the same religious background !)

    So for me, religion is by far the most dividing factor. Were I not already married, I would never ever consider dating someone with strong and exclusive religious beliefs. I am a convinced Atheist, but I do not look for other convinced Atheists. I am comfortable with most Agnostics (e.g. non-practising Christians who have doubts about religion), Deists (those who believe in god, even strongly, but do not follow any organised religion), or with non radical Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists, etc. In a secular society where most people are not very religious (e.g. Europe, China, Japan), religion is hardly an issue. But I couldn't live (even for a short time) in a very religious society (e.g. Saudi Arabia, Iran, some US states...).


    Conclusion : Within a non-religious society, the most dividing factor between people, and the most important in finding friends or a spouse is definitely social class. But religion remains potentially the most prohibiting factor of all. So my ranking from the most to the least is :

    - religion
    - social class
    - intelligence & knowledge
    - gender

    Additional comment on gender differences & divorce

    Hopefully gender is not such a strong factor, otherwise men and women wouldn't live together anymore. I believe that a majority of divorces nowadays are not caused by gender differences, but by passionate love marriages where "love" dies after a few years (for biochemical reasons), or just marriages across social classes, which are usually destined to fail. The increase in divorces has resulted from major changes in society :

    1) allowing love marriages, regardless of the spouse's family background
    2) a rise in individualism; young people don't mind to live by themselves anymore, and even want to leave the parental home as soon as possible, but also have more difficulty living with someone else, whoever it is.
    3) a rise in the level of what is considered "acceptable" promiscuity (buffered by AIDS since the early 1980's)
    4) decrease in the social and/or religious taboo about divorce

    Gender differences have always existed. Men and women have lived together for centuries despite these differences. Now that women are increasingly behaving like men (taking men's jobs, doing men's sports, talking like men, cutting their hair...), and vice-versa (men doing more housework, taking care of the children, taking paternal leave when a baby is born, wearing perfume and caring about fashion...), we could think that in fact gender differences are decreasing, and fast !
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  2. #2
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    My opinion is, social class is the no.1 factor out of all. From what i experience is, humans have always been materialistic but this world (including the people around me) is just becoming more and more. I have a friend and he knows this girl who has great taste in fashion and in lifestyle etc will not make friends with those who don't have the same high class taste as her, regardless if they all share the same interests or not. More and more people of today's young generation are becoming materialistic. Besides, social caste still exists in India and in some parts of the world too and has always have been throughout history. It is part of human nature.

    Religion is the 2nd factor, although we're having divisions among Christians, radical Muslims and other religious groups but these divisions are often caused by political issues rather than their religious beliefs.

    So I say:

    1. Social class
    2. Religion
    3. Intelligence
    4. Gender

  3. #3
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    I would say first the social class or the social status. I find it difficult to socialize with people with social class by far lower than mine, every behavior they possessed is difficult for me to accept.

    Anyway people with much lower income or status than what my husband or my family have would be extremely Jealous of us. My husband is a CEO, now he doesn't mind making friends with people with lower jobs. He actually have a few friends who are laborers, but their wives are so jealous that their men are incapable of making as much money or achieve status as he can. There are times he went to their place and he was wearing a luxurious watch and the wives instantly make remarks about it and acted very jealous.

    Then I would say it is the intelligence. I would die if I have to deal with a bunch of people who doesnft understand common sense because their intelligence level is obviously lower than mine, I would feel very irritated and annoyed.

    I will give you an example:
    I went back to Malaysia to visit my parents for vacation. For those of you who donft know Malaysia is a segregated society. Due to the reason that my husband wanted an adventurous type of tour, we went to see some indigenous tribe in Sarawak, which was very interesting.

    Donft get me wrong, they are easy going people and the trip was nice but I wouldnft socialize with these people on a daily basis because we are too different, in terms of standards and in terms of intelligence.

    During the tour, our tour guide asked me where I was from; I told him I was born in Kuching, Sarawak. And my husband told him my father was the one who booked the tour and he's a doctor in Kuching, and he told him my dad's name. Then the tour guides was balled over because he knew who my father was. Then he told another tour guide who was a kind of indigenous tribal ethnic person of Malaysia, I am not sure which one. I thought he was Malay but he wasnft as he was a Christian. So he must be one of the minority tribal ethnic groups in Malaysia, like Iban, Orang Ulu, Bidayu...etc. He was definitely not Indian or Chinese.

    Anyway the Chinese in Malaysia is the same people as the Hongkese or Taiwanese, as their ancestors come from Southern China. Unless if they have been mixed with Malay, Indian, or indigenous tribes, then they are different. Otherwise we, Chinese from Malaysia are the same people as the Southern Chinese, genetically speaking and racially speaking, but not culturally speaking.

    He was so stunned of what I said and said to me that he found Taiwanese or Hongkese did not look like the Chinese in Malaysia, and that they were not the same people.

    I told him gIf they donft look alike, it is because of environmental reasons; Malaysia is located in the equator so averagely the Chinese living in this area are darker on average because of the sun. There are also accent differences and that the Chinese here are not very Chinese because they live in a multicultural society with Malays, Indians and other indigenous tribes but genetically they are the same as the other southern Chinese. Go see the babies, they look the same.h

    At this point I was simply getting mad, because he was so stupid that he was slapping his own face. Before hand he was explaining to the tourists that the Iban ( a minority tribe in Sarawak) peoplefs younger generations who went to school, unlike their previous generation that were illiterate. These younger generation became professionals and they no longer wanted to live in the gjungleh, they wanted to be modernized and they wanted to live in the city. And they did.

    Why? because they want to live in a better environment.

    People who live in the city look different from the people in the jungle. And people who live in a first word country look different from the people who live in developing country because of the environment. Go see an African person in Africa and compare to the blacks in the US, are they the same? Of course not, because of the environmental and educational influences.

    The Chinese in Malaysia look different from the Taiwanese; Hongkese is because they live in Malaysia. It is the environment of Malaysia that makes them different from the other southern Chinese. Genetically they are still the same. He even thinks all the people who live in Malaysia are the same, racially.

    Unbelievable!!! The Malays and the indigenous people are descendants of Polynesians where as Chinese are Mongoloid. If a white person is born in South Africa would his genetics be black because hefs born in Africa? No of course not unless she is the heir of black parents. There are Chinese born in England but if both the parents are Chinese the child would still be Chinese genetically speaking, even his nationality will be British and will speak perfect English.

    Then he asked me how to move to foreign countries, I said "you have to be qualified and your qualifications need to be very up to standards, you need money or skills developed countries want, go read immi.gov.au. Unless you are a refugee but you need to prove that, they will make investigations. "

    I cannot believe there are people in the world who never heard of immigration. He also thinks the Chinese communities are the original inhabitants of Malaysia, this is so laughable. The Chinese immigrated to Malaysia mainly due to the political trouble of China during the Second World War. There are some who immigrated before the Second World War, I believed they were tradesmen and decided to stay in South East Asia.

    By the end of our conversation I donft think he understands what I am trying to tell him at all, *sigh*, luckily I donft have to listen to this all day long. This is one of the reasons why Chinese are segregated from other ethnic groups in Malaysia, because of our standards, intelligence, culture, religion and... Basically we are just too different from them.

    Thirdly I would say Religion, I am originally from Malaysia, but I have lived in western developed countries for so long I don't think I am the same as the people who still live there, Chinese overthere included, but I only socialised with Chinese in Malaysia that I like, not others from Malaysia.

    This time when I go back to Malaysia, once again I encountered many different people with different religions, and their religions donft really bother me as long as they don't start irritating me to join their religion that I don't want. The Malays are not as pious as the Arabs in the Middle East.
    You know they say they will boyscott Danish beer, they didn't it's all over the place served in restaurants in Kuching, Malaysia. Malaysia is still a moderate Muslim country and the ethnic minorities are not Muslims and definitely allow to practice their religions. However being Muslim in Malaysia does give advantages in University spaces and many other things. But even with that Chinese from Malaysia choose to save money and go overseas, rather than turn Muslim.

    Due to this reason not all Chinese born or from Malaysia speak Malay, but the tour guide will tell you otherwise. My husband who knows the truth was laughing about that when the tour guide lie right to his face.

    Lastly gender, I don't remember being irritated or aggravated by people due to their gender. I generally find with western guys I mean white people are easier to be friends with than girls, as for East Asians I tend to have more friends that are girls than guys.
    Last edited by Minty; 25-10-06 at 18:33.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    I would say first the social class or the social status. I find it difficult to socialize with people with social class by far lower than mine, every behavior they possessed is difficult for me to accept.
    I would agree that it is status.
    However, I find at least in europe and america, that income has little to do with the people I am willing to associate with. America and europe have a long tradition of poor intellectuals and artists. There are many wealthy people and business people to whom I would not give the time of day. Some of them are such bores.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 25-10-06 at 08:56. Reason: quote tags

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    Your Goddess is here Ma Cherie's Avatar
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    What divides people more? I donft know if I can rate what divides people the most, because at times religion, gender, social class, and intellect can overlap each other. But Ifll try.

    And thanks for pointing out the difference between social class and social status, I think a lot of people get the two mixed up.

    Religion: Religion is a huge factor of dividing people. But I think it depends on what religion it is. It seems that the religions that descended from Abraham (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) are radical in nature. I can deal with Buddhism, since it doesnft seem so radical. And certain sects and denominations can cause people within a religion to become divided. For instance, Catholics and Protestants are divided in a lot of ways. I think the same could be said for the Sunni and Shifa.

    Social Class: Probably doesnft really have to divide people, but it does. People with a certain social standing are more likely to have the same political beliefs that fits into their social group. I believe that social class can be an exclusionary device. For one, there are clubs that are specifically for wealthy people.

    Intelligence and knowledge I donft think really divides people all that much.

    Gender: It doesnft really divide people. But the reason why gender differences exist in the first place is because men and women are socially trained to behave in the way that is supposedly suited for our sex. I guess since women can give birth to children wefre just socially trained to be the caretakers and nurturers. Or at least in a sociological sense this is true. But gender doesnft really seem to divide people.
    Oh and what about race, ethnicity or nationality? That can divide people as well.
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  6. #6
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie View Post
    And thanks for pointing out the difference between social class and social status, I think a lot of people get the two mixed up.
    I am glad that you understand the difference. Some people never do, even after explaining to them...

    Social Class: Probably doesnft really have to divide people, but it does. People with a certain social standing are more likely to have the same political beliefs that fits into their social group. I believe that social class can be an exclusionary device. For one, there are clubs that are specifically for wealthy people.
    My view of social class division is a much more natural one. I'd say that I could recognise people's class if you made them wear the exact same clothes and didn't tell me what their job or income was. Clubs for wealthy people are rare here. But just the sports you play can tell a lot of your social class. Boxing or football (soccer) are more lower or middle class by nature (more brutal and dirty), while tennis and golf are more refined, more "gentlemanly" and allow to display a certain sense of fashion as well.

    Intelligence and knowledge I donft think really divides people all that much.
    I suppose it depends on important it is in the country's culture. I found that it was much less of a dividing factor in Japan than in Europe.

    Oh and what about race, ethnicity or nationality? That can divide people as well.
    The division in race and ethnicity is a very complex one and depends a lot on the ethnicities you compare and the openmindedness of the people. I personally see more difference between linguistic and cultural groups than between ethnic groups. Same for nationality. Assemble 30 Europeans of the different nationalities, but of the same social level, and all with good English abilities, and I am pretty sure that the difference between nationalities will as insignificiant as if they all came from the same country.

  7. #7
    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellymich View Post
    I would agree that it is status.
    However, I find at least in europe and america, that income has little to do with the people I am willing to associate with. America and europe have a long tradition of poor intellectuals and artists. There are many wealthy people and business people to whom I would not give the time of day. Some of them are such bores.
    Hi there Kelly, welcome to our forum by the way.

    Well yes I agree, Western countries are quite egalitarian; you donft need money to receive higher education. Like here in France, Universities are free. Whether your parents are poor or rich you can still be say a pharmacist, as long as you study hard and are born normal. Many basic needs are all covered by the government.

    In Australia it is not exactly free but you can choose to pay later when you work and loan from the government to pay for your University fees first. If you come from parents who make lesser incomes than others it will not really impact your opportunity of going for a higher education.

    In developing countries like Malaysia or industrialized countries like Taiwan, lower class or low income earners donft have money to do anything extra. Wealth, status and higher education are linked. Sometimes social class too.

    But in the Chinesefs case since the communist has succeeded to rule China, since then the Chinese aristocrats have been threatened, black mailed and murdered by the communists, because communists hated the literate and the elite. A lot of them have fallen down from their social class. It is very difficult to keep your social class when you social status and money have been taken from you.
    Last edited by Minty; 25-10-06 at 21:49.

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    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    One's social status depends on one"s achievements or personal dominance over the others, and exists also among social animals (e.g. wolves, apes) and tribal people. Social class is the milieu into which we are born and raised, and which will influence our values, tastes, manners and lifestyle during all our life, whatever our socio-economic success
    the upper-middle class : composed chiefly of well-to-do and well-educated professionals, such as managers, cadres, lawyers, doctors, engineers, accountants, insurance brokers, university professors... They are predominantly an intellectual class, who read a lot and may like debates more than others. They usually have more cultural interests, like art exhibitions, theatre, classical music, etc. They dress more conventionally (e.g. suits) and/or soberly than average. This is the kind of people that prefer sports such as tennis, golf, sailing or horse riding
    The upper middle class professions such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers...and so on can be achieved with a degree, but their parents may not necessarily come from those backgrounds.

    And for those that their parents and other families who are professionals that are classified in the upper middle class categories, their heirs may not necessarily achieve the same professions as them. A doctorfs daughter may not necessarily be a doctor as well, she cannot acquire her fatherfs profession unless she finished her medicine degree and later on becomes a doctor.

    My view of social class division is a much more natural one. I'd say that I could recognise people's class if you made them wear the exact same clothes and didn't tell me what their job or income was. Clubs for wealthy people are rare here. But just the sports you play can tell a lot of your social class. Boxing or football (soccer) are more lower or middle class by nature (more brutal and dirty), while tennis and golf are more refined, more "gentlemanly" and allow to display a certain sense of fashion as well.
    Hmmmm...Chinese upper class people don't really play sports, unless you want to count fox hunting, and archery. However in the later part of the Qing dynasty when the Westerners came, the aristocrats did play tennis introduced by the west.

  9. #9
    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie View Post
    What divides people more? I donft know if I can rate what divides people the most, because at times religion, gender, social class, and intellect can overlap each other. But Ifll try.
    Intelligence and knowledge I donft think really divides people all that much.
    Let me disagree, how often do you see a Harvard graduate say in law socializing with a high school drop out?

    My father is a doctor, at least 75 percent of his friends are also doctors, the rest are some kind of other professionals like CEOs, engineers, dentists, lawyerscetc and most Asians I have been observing tend to do the same.

    In Asia I think intelligence tends to divide people more than in the West. My husband has friends who are less intelligence than him but he tends to choose his friends base on personalities rather than social status or intelligence. You can tell his friends are kind of intimidated by him.

    Oh and what about race, ethnicity or nationality? That can divide people as well.
    I think so, I know a lot of people who have problem communicating with people because of the differences of race/ethnicity, and nationality.

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    I don't see a Harvard graduate socializing a drop-out, but from personal experience I myself socialize with drop-outs even though I'm a university student. But it probably depends on the person.

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    What an interesting topic! :) *steps in with 2 feet*

    OK...

    Intelligence and knowledge
    I think this can be a great dividing factor - but it doesn't have to be. It depends quite a lot on the people involved - since Mac is talking about a one-on-one relationship such as a couple or perhaps best mates, something like that. I'll expand... (if I can! ^^)... oh, and warning, probably I'm going to use examples too much from my own experiences... (I realise you can't always generalise from that...)

    I think that it's important in this case to separate 'intelligence' (innate) from 'knowledge' (acquired). Someone who has not had a good education, perhaps who has no qualifications and hardly attended at school, can be an 'intelligent' person. I know quite a number of people like that. I also know intelligent people who do have a lot of knowledge and who have a good education. I find that the people who are intelligent and knowledgeable, can usually get along pretty well with those who are intelligent but don't have very much knowledge. The reason? It doesn't take a genius to see it! An intelligent person, regardless of their level of knowledge, can more easily understand what's being said to them. The things that they don't know, can be explained to them, and they can grasp them. Of course, that does take a little more effort on the part of the person with the knowledge. But, they will be... how to say it?... "someone to have an intelligent conversation with" (!!!). I don't really know who to describe it, but an 'intelligent' person can use their brain, even without specific knowledge, and is also quicker to learn and grasp ideas.

    For example, there's this guy who is really uneducated, I mean, not having qualifications and didn't really attend school, he just left and got a job in a factory that didn't need qualifications. But that doesn't mean he is stupid. In fact, when I talk to him, I think to myself, "He's an intelligent man". Of course, that only means he's more intelligent than me! (That's not so difficult at all! ) But, I did go to university, so... well, I guess that means I have knowledge (even if not intelligence), anyway, so, supposing we are about equal on a level of intelligence, he doesn't have as much knowledge in the same areas as me, but we can get along just fine. I mean, I can see his brain is sharp even though he doesn't read and write too well.

    I said that I think it depends on the people, as regards intelligence and knowledge. Because in a one-on-one relationship where there is unequal I&K, it falls on the person with the more I&K to 'concede' to the person who has not. For example, the person with more I&K sees other strong points in their friend. Additionally, people can have different levels of I&K in different areas, which confuses the issue! For instance, I have a good friend who is infuriatingly 'slow' in some things (leading some people to dismiss him as 'stupid' ¬__¬), but who is incredibly kind, loyal, and a total whiz at computers. His brain works differently to mine, but do I get fed up with him? Not at all! O_o But on the other hand, there are some very intelligent people who find him only tedious, and don't care about his other qualities.

    Often I find that in a social situation I form a very quick bond with someone who thinks the same way I do, who has a similar level of intelligence to me, and who shares my 'areas of knowledge'... regardless of our social class, gender or religion. It's like we have some kind of shared understanding that cuts across these barriers.

    In conclusion to that, I think that I&K (when put together! @[email protected]) has the potential to be one of the most dividing factors between 2 individuals, but that depending on those individuals and their attitudes it could also not matter a damn.

    Social class
    I agree with what people have said, that social class is a very big dividing factor. I grew up being very unaware of social class or in the blissful feeling that it somehow didn't really matter any more, not 'these days'. But it does. I've learnt that, becoming more mature and meeting people from different classes. People from a different class I find harder to 'reach', mentally. Probably this is because class is something ingrained in you throughout your upbringing, so you aren't aware of what it is and how it affects your behaviour and thoughts until you're quite a bit older; probably in your teens, at least. So people grow up in their class, with the tendencies and habits resulting from it, and it becomes quite fixed (although not entirely). I find people from a different class to have a different outlook on life. Sometimes, an intelligent person from a different class (either above or below mine) can make a strong connection with me and class does not matter, because they are intelligent enough to break their thought patterns away, to be just 'themselves', to think as an individual (I can't think of a good way of expressing it without implying that most of the population are stereotyped clones of their class, which is of course not what I mean! ). And of course, some people can be highly intelligent and yet extraordinarily fixed in their social class and outlook (particularly when they are intelligent in one sphere, their job, for example a lawyer or a surgeon - not to say that specialists are more inclined to be like that, though!!!).

    Religion
    I put religion only 3rd on my list of 'what divides more people', and I did warn that I was thinking a lot from my own experience, which is limited. Because my cousin, who is a practicing Catholic, is married to a practicing Muslim, and they have a very happy and successful marriage and get along just fine. Naturally, this will bias my opinion, in the way of saying "I've seen it work". I know it isn't always so easy. Religion has caused some of the very biggest divides, wars etc., and some religions seem to be so incompatible... ... But as Christianity and Islam are seen as being really 'opposing forces', I wanted to put in my word that it doesn't have to be like that... Incidentally, some of the people I have felt the greatest understanding and friendship from in my life, are moderate Muslims (compared with me, who is Catholic); we share a lot of the similar outlook on things that are important to us, and feel a great sense of comradeship and mutual support. I feel culturally, mentally and emotionally closer to my Muslim friends than to those who are evangelical Christians.

    I have to add, though, that I am referring to moderate Muslims and not violent extremists.

    Gender
    Gender I would put as number 4, the least dividing factor. As someone already pointed out, there are these days a lot less socially-dividing factors caused by gender. And mentally... Well, sure there are differences in the way the male and female brains work, if books are anything to go by , but I don't think it matters so very much. :) and of course, speaking of one-on-one relationship, what is more common than a male-female couple? seriously though, divorces and break-ups there are, but what about this great attraction for the opposite sex? It seems to me that would indicate it's an attractive factor rather than a dividing factor!

    There is the different ways people's minds work... but although gender does have a role to play in that, I think it's largely more of an individual thing. I mean, you get feminine men and masculine women. Not everyone fits into the stereotypes of female/male. In fact, how many people actually do fit the stereotypes? Perhaps I'm biased, because my mind tends to work in rather a 'masculine' way (although not always!), but I don't find gender to be much of a 'dividing' factor in forming one-on-one friendships (and a positive help in finding partners! XD).

    I do find that I've got a very high proportion of close male friends (who are not lovers or ex-s) compared with female friends, and I sometimes wonder whether that's because of my 'masculine' characteristics... perhaps blokes feel quite comfortable around me or something? @[email protected] also not being particularly attractive I don't put them on edge and make them feel like they need to impress me or something. ¬_¬ XD

    Woah... I write too much... and I don't even know if that is clear at all. I'm not really so stupid, I'm just too lazy to go back and organise my post! (I know! Excuse! >_<)

    Anyway, my order:
    1. Intelligence & knowledge (either 1 or 4!!! @[email protected])
    2. Social class
    3. Religion
    4. Gender

  12. #12
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Great post, Kinsao. I agree with almost everything you've written. Just one little comment :

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao
    I mean, you get feminine men and masculine women. Not everyone fits into the stereotypes of female/male. In fact, how many people actually do fit the stereotypes?
    In my experience, the male/female divide is the least obvious in Northern Europe of any region worldwide. It is less obvious in Western countries in general than in the rest of the world. In Japan, for instance, I felt that the gender gap was huge, and people did fit the stereotypes.

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    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ma Cherie View Post
    I don't see a Harvard graduate socializing a drop-out, but from personal experience I myself socialize with drop-outs even though I'm a university student. But it probably depends on the person.
    Yes, probably. It also depends on the ethnic group. Most Asians I know don't socialize with people outside of their social class. Yes, I know Asians are materialistic.

    My husband wouldn't care about things like this; otherwise he wouldn't have friends that are laborers and carpenters.

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    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao View Post
    I think that it's important in this case to separate 'intelligence' (innate) from 'knowledge' (acquired). Someone who has not had a good education, perhaps who has no qualifications and hardly attended at school, can be an 'intelligent' person. I know quite a number of people like that. I also know intelligent people who do have a lot of knowledge and who have a good education. I find that the people who are intelligent and knowledgeable, can usually get along pretty well with those who are intelligent but don't have very much knowledge. The reason? It doesn't take a genius to see it! An intelligent person, regardless of their level of knowledge, can more easily understand what's being said to them. The things that they don't know, can be explained to them, and they can grasp them. Of course, that does take a little more effort on the part of the person with the knowledge. But, they will be... how to say it?... "someone to have an intelligent conversation with" (!!!). I don't really know who to describe it, but an 'intelligent' person can use their brain, even without specific knowledge, and is also quicker to learn and grasp ideas.
    For example, there's this guy who is really uneducated, I mean, not having qualifications and didn't really attend school, he just left and got a job in a factory that didn't need qualifications. But that doesn't mean he is stupid. In fact, when I talk to him, I think to myself, "He's an intelligent man". Of course, that only means he's more intelligent than me! (That's not so difficult at all! ) But, I did go to university, so... well, I guess that means I have knowledge (even if not intelligence), anyway, so, supposing we are about equal on a level of intelligence, he doesn't have as much knowledge in the same areas as me, but we can get along just fine. I mean, I can see his brain is sharp even though he doesn't read and write too well.
    I agree there are always the shades of grey, not everything is black and white.

    Sometimes I think Asians are materialistic is because it is harder for us to get jobs or to move to Western country to quest after a higher standard of living. When a Western country's government accepts you to come into its country, it selects you based on your qualifications. They are your degree/s, experiences, fixed high income, wealth you possessed to be able to invest in their economy and they only want professionals or jobs that they severely lack.

    It is easier for white people to get jobs in Western countries, as for Asians only the ones who have high degrees or those who have skills where the country lacks can get jobs easily. The rest either just do low pay jobs like wash dishes in China town or are miserably unemployed.

    Religion
    I put religion only 3rd on my list of 'what divides more people', and I did warn that I was thinking a lot from my own experience, which is limited. Because my cousin, who is a practicing Catholic, is married to a practicing Muslim, and they have a very happy and successful marriage and get along just fine. Naturally, this will bias my opinion, in the way of saying "I've seen it work". I know it isn't always so easy. Religion has caused some of the very biggest divides, wars etc., and some religions seem to be so incompatible... ... But as Christianity and Islam are seen as being really 'opposing forces', I wanted to put in my word that it doesn't have to be like that... Incidentally, some of the people I have felt the greatest understanding and friendship from in my life, are moderate Muslims (compared with me, who is Catholic); we share a lot of the similar outlook on things that are important to us, and feel a great sense of comradeship and mutual support. I feel culturally, mentally and emotionally closer to my Muslim friends than to those who are evangelical Christians.
    I have to add, though, that I am referring to moderate Muslims and not violent extremists.
    My father has a friend in Malaysia, he is in a relationship with a Muslim, but he doesn't want to be Muslim so they are not married, but he performs the role of a husband with the exception of that piece of paper. My father's friend is Sino Malaysian with no religion. Although he is not Christian, Chinese way of life is also very different from the Muslims'.

  15. #15
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    Yes, probably. It also depends on the ethnic group. Most Asians I know don't socialize with people outside of their social class. Yes, I know Asians are materialistic.
    Please say East Asians, not just Asians. Half of Asia is Muslim (Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Central Asia, parts of India, Bangladesh and indeed Indonesia and half of Malaysia), and Muslims are very egalitarian and non materialistic. Hindus, Jains, and true Buddhists (or which few are left) are even anti-materialistic. They value the abandonment of material wealth so much that the sadhu (ascetics) of India, who have given up everything (family, work, money, house, and in some cases even clothes) are seen as near-deities. Hindus do not socialise much beyond their caste, but castes are absolutely not related to money. In all castes there are very rich and very poor people. Nevertheless, a poor Brahmin (highest caste) will be shown respect even by a millionaire from a lower caste.

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    Seems like people are pointing out that which country (or area of the world) you are talking about will greatly influence which factors are greater in deciding what will be a greater barrier between parties.
    I have noticed that occupation and/or wealth are sometimes factors for people not wishing to associate with certain others. I get this from my Japanese wife, that now that I am primarily a university lecturer, I should associate more with these kinds of people (some of this makes sense on the networking level, but...) rather than with people I know who are 'just' language teachers.
    Personally, I don't see a big difference, I work with some great people at both places. On the surface, some of the university lecturers are more difficult to talk to, but they are also sometimes busier and have already set up their own social networks, either with collegues from the same department they have worked with longer or with other people with the same nationalities.
    Intelligence and knowledge are bigger assets for me to share, but I especially dislike people who are bullshitters and ass kissers. This I find for me is a bigger dividing line, people who are just into something for themselves only. Unfortunately, I seem to meet many of this type in Japan, where contacts often seems to be favored over knowledge and intelligence sometimes.
    Income of course might limit access to certain activities that you just can't afford. For example, when I see yacht racing, I think this is basically an elitist sport, but I think if those people have the money to do it, it's their business. So, this may limit your chances of dealing with those people, though personally I have known 'ignorant' rich people too.

  17. #17
    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Please say East Asians, not just Asians. Half of Asia is Muslim (Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Central Asia, parts of India, Bangladesh and indeed Indonesia and half of Malaysia), and Muslims are very egalitarian and non materialistic. Hindus, Jains, and true Buddhists (or which few are left) are even anti-materialistic. They value the abandonment of material wealth so much that the sadhu (ascetics) of India, who have given up everything (family, work, money, house, and in some cases even clothes) are seen as near-deities. Hindus do not socialise much beyond their caste, but castes are absolutely not related to money. In all castes there are very rich and very poor people. Nevertheless, a poor Brahmin (highest caste) will be shown respect even by a millionaire from a lower caste.
    In Australia the people from the Middle East we called them Middle Eastern. I don't think you understand Malay as much as I do, as I am born in Malaysia. Although I grew up in Australia, during my high school years after the immigration I still went back for vacation very often. It wasn't until later on in late University period I didn't go back for some period of time.

    Moreover my father still works in Malaysia, and now my mum has moved back to Malaysia since my youngest brother has finished his degree.

    In the Malay world they also say "no money, no honey". And in Malaysia it is full of double standards and Malay is always demanding money or other sorts of benefits from the Chinese there. They are not materialistic? I don't think so; Indonesian is the same people as Malay. The Malay's ancestors were the same people from Java and moved to Malaysia.

    I have also have encounters with Pilipino in Australia, they too are very materialistic; they are always counting and wonft stop bragging about what they have.

  18. #18
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post
    In the Malay world they also say "no money, no honey". And in Malaysia it is full of double standards and Malay is always demanding money or other sorts of benefits from the Chinese there. They are not materialistic? I don't think so; Indonesian is the same people as Malay.
    I heard the same in Thailand as well ("no money, no honey"). It seems to be a typical (South-)East Asian thing. Malay and Indonesian Muslims tend to be quite different from other Muslims I noticed. They drink alcohol (so do the Turks), watch porn (I was surprise to seee special "porn cinemas" in Java which is 100% Muslim), have sex with non-Muslims, etc.

  19. #19
    Regular Member ricecake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minty View Post


    It also depends on the ethnic group. Most Asians I know don't socialize with people outside of their social class. Yes, I know Asians are materialistic.

    My husband wouldn't care about things like this; otherwise he wouldn't have friends that are laborers and carpenters.


    I think you're right as my personal social interactions validate it,Chinese are more class-conscious than Western counterparts.People in my social circle tend to assciate themselves with individuals share same level of education and economic backgrounds.
    Last edited by ricecake; 13-11-06 at 09:56.

  20. #20
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    There is not one thread of doubts in my book,it's socio-economic separates people moreso than religious beliefs.

  21. #21
    Advisor LeBrok's Avatar
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    Oh, comon people. Last war in Europe (Yugoslavia), and ongoing terrorist actions are based in religion. And you voted for Social Classes dividing people the most? What social classes in ordinary folk life we are talking about? You haven't been invited for a royal wedding or something?
    I'm very glad we are over gender inequality in Europe though. :)

  22. #22
    ^ lynx ^
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    Intelligence & Knowledge/Social class.

  23. #23
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    At least in my country which is Spain (Western Europe), which further divides people is politics.

  24. #24
    ^ lynx ^
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carlitos View Post
    At least in my country which is Spain, which further divides people is politics.
    The bolded part of the sentence is totally correct.

  25. #25
    Regular Member Wilhelm's Avatar
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    Well, intelligence if you have an IQ well above the average, let's say above 140 it can certainly be a dividing factor. Not to mention people withg IQ's above 160 they must feel very alone. Knowledge not so much because it is aquired and you can talk about your subjects whenever you decide.

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