‘Linguistic’ and Other Discomforts in Political America
A new Pew Research Center survey conducted online Jan. 22-Feb. 5, 2019, in English and Spanish reveals a lot of interesting social views held by Americans: some good, some not so good, some just plain weird.
Most say it’s a good thing that the country has a diverse population – racial and ethnic — although many say this introduces its own set of challenges for themselves and politicians, making it more difficult for politicians to solve the country’s problems.
Most see racial and ethnic diversity having a positive impact on the country’s culture
However, “opinions on these issues vary considerably along party lines, with Democrats and those who lean to the Democratic Party more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to express positive views of the importance and impact of racial and ethnic diversity.”
There is broad support for workplace diversity, but most say applicants’ race and ethnicity should not be a factor in hiring and promotions.
Today, more than half of Americans (54%) say students should go to school in their local community, even if it means that most schools are not racially and ethnically mixed.
However, again views differ considerably along party lines, “with 73% of Republicans – vs. 41% of Democrats – saying students should go to school in their local community, even if it means most schools are not racially and ethnically mixed.”
Most Americans (66%) are satisfied with the racial mix in the community where they live
However, “relatively few Americans interact a lot with people from other racial and ethnic groups…”
And here is the weird one, at least to this author in whose home three languages were spoken – sometimes simultaneously.
About three-in-ten Americans say it would bother them to hear people speak a language other than English in public.
However, while about six-in-ten white Democrats say “this wouldn’t bother them at all,” only 26% of white Republicans say they would not be bothered at all.
Commenting on this phenomenon, the Washington Post says that in addition to politics, age and education are the major predictors of “linguistic discomfort.”:
Eighteen percent of whites younger than 30 said they would be bothered by a foreign language being spoken, compared with 43 percent in the 50-to-64 age group, and 45 percent among those 65 and older.
Among all racial groups, whites (34 percent) are most likely to be bothered hearing foreign languages, followed by blacks (25 percent), Asians (24 percent) and Hispanics (13 percent)…
As pointed out by the Post in the case of “linguistic discomfort,” there are differences in views – some nuanced, some significant — on other social issues covered by the Pew survey, depending on the race or ethnicity of the groups being surveyed.
For a more detailed report, please go to “Americans See Advantages and Challenges in Country’s Growing Racial and Ethnic Diversity.”
Lead image: flickr.com by “mimitalks…”