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The danger of a single story
April 17, 2010 12:30 PM   Subscribe

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie on the danger of defining a place or a people by a single story. From TEDGlobal 2009 and via Feministe.
posted by peacheater (8 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very interesting. (The interactive transcripts really save a lot of time, and you can skip to a certain point if you want to hear what they actually say. I wish all videos had that, but I'm sure they're somewhat expensive to produce.)
posted by delmoi at 12:46 PM on April 17, 2010


I have heard of this more generally as the problem of "exampling" - unless you can show enough examples to represent the variety, only one example can be worse than none at all.

Of course this is a completely different kind of problem when talking about peoples ideas of whole countries of people than when talking about a new concept, but it seems like the same principle is in effect.
posted by idiopath at 1:35 PM on April 17, 2010


'Single' story?
posted by HTuttle at 4:23 PM on April 17, 2010


'Single' story?
I don't understand your question.
posted by peacheater at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2010


great talk. I know that when I hear a single story about something, it really sticks with me and alters my view.
posted by rebent at 5:28 PM on April 17, 2010


Yes, I agree. It is a bad idea to generalize large geographic areas and groups of people via isolated stories.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:36 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


A Basket of Leaves: 99 Books that Capture the Spirit of Africa

Is 99 enough?
posted by stbalbach at 5:58 PM on April 17, 2010


Excellent, thank you. "The problem with stereotypes is not that they are not true but that they are incomplete."
posted by blue shadows at 12:09 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


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