Class X - Political Science

Chapter - 3 Democracy and Diversity

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A Story from Mexico Olympics

  • Medal ceremony of the 200 metres race in the 1968 Olympics held at Mexico City represented two men standing with clenched fists upraised and heads bowed, while the American national anthem was played, are the US athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos.
  • They are AFRICAN-AMERICANS. They had won the gold and bronze medals respectively. They received their medals wearing black socks and no shoes to represent Black poverty.
  • The black-gloved and raised clenched fists were meant to symbolise BLACK POWER.
  • The silver medallist, white Australian athlete, Peter Norman, wore a human rights badge on his shirt during the ceremony to show his support to the two Americans.
  • Succeeded in gaining international attention for the Civil Rights Movement in the US.
  • San Jose (pronounced ‘Saan Hoze’) State University, of which they were former students, honoured them and installed their statue in the University campus.


Origins of social differences

  • Social differences based on accident of birth.
  • Differences are based on our choices.


Social differences divide similar people from one another, but they also unite very different people. People belonging to different social groups share differences and similarities cutting across the boundaries of their groups


Overlapping and cross-cutting differences

  • Social division takes place when some social difference overlaps with other differences.
  • If social differences cross cut one another, it is difficult to pit one group of people against the other. It means that groups that share a common interest on one issue are likely to be in different sides on a different issue.


Three determinants

Three factors are crucial in deciding the outcome of politics of social divisions.

  • The outcome depends on how people perceive their identities. If people see their identities in singular and exclusive terms, it becomes very difficult to accommodate.
  • It depends on how political leaders raise the demands of any community. It is easier to accommodate demands that are within the constitutional framework and are not at the cost of another community.
  • It depends on how the government reacts to demands of different groups.

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