What is inclusion?
What is inclusion?
Inclusion is a broad topic and a term has various concept depending on the subject. Generally inclusion is about everyone in the group or community feels valued and respected as an individual.
It sounds so simple but it is not that simple in reality.
Why is inclusion so hard?
Everyone is different
Diversity is a very natural thing, simply we all are different. So it means in terms of embracing those differences and respecting all differences in the world, that will be tricky because of the nature of being different.
Exclusion as Zero Sum Game
The zero-sum bias is a cognitive bias that causes people to mistakenly view certain situations as being zero-sum, meaning that they incorrectly believe that one party’s gains are directly balanced by other parties’ losses.
According to a study published in Science Advances (May 6, 2022), many people unconsciously think in a "zero-sum" mindset.
This is one of the experiment. White (majority in the U.S.) participants were told, "In 2018, white homebuyers received $386.3 billion in mortgages from banks. Latinos, on the other hand, received $12.6 billion," he explained.
He then asked, in order to reduce the racial disparity, "Should banks increase mortgages to Latinos while "maintaining" their lending limits to whites?" I asked.
Despite the fact that it was explicitly stated that the bank would maintain its lending limits to whites, the white participants tended to believe that their own limits would decrease if the bank increased its lending limits to Latinos.
On the contrary, some thought that "if we reduce the quota for Latinos, our own quota should increase even more."
This misconception seems to hold true even in situations that are favorable to both majorities and minorities.
For example, why not expand the entire line of credit to increase mortgage limits for Latinos? When asked, the white participants still believe that the loan terms for them would be more stringent.
This kind of zero sum thinking creates an extremely unequal society, which is happening in the society and that's why inclusion is hard. Even if someone gets benefits, you will not lose anything actially.
Zero-sum in reality
These trends are already occurring in the real world, and the study group confirms this with its vote for California Proposition 16, which would have prohibited public agencies from taking into account race, gender, color, ethnicity, and national origin.
California states prohibited public agencies from considering race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin in employment, education, and contracting.
California Proposition 16 was intended to allow preferential treatment to be given based on race and gender in some circumstances in order to help the marginalized communiity.
The majority of whites and Asians believed that the propostion 16 would have negative impact on their educational and employment opportunities, and those who thought so were more opposed to California Proposition 16.
The survey also analyzed the relationship between those who opposed the proposition and their political ideology and party affiliation, but the most relevant factor was whether or not they believed that their opportunities would be lost if the proposition passed.
Sadly, this is the reality.
How to build inclusive society
The 4 stage of inclusion
Stage One: Exclusion
No effort is being made, marginalized people are ignored and left out. For example some of those communitiy are prohibited to use particular things. If you watched season 2 of the umbrella academy, it could be easy to imagine, and that was actually happening in that age; Black people could not enter some of restaurants run by white people.
Stage Two: Segregation
In the sate of being allowed to use something, but being kept separate from the mainstream. Example of this is choosing the school, if you have disabilities, in many of states, you might have limited option to choose the school.
Stage Three: Integration
Integration is like beingin a mainstream setting occasionally or permanently, but you need to adopt into "normal" . So in other words, marginalized people try to adopt to the society, but society does not need to adopt in each need.
Stage Four: Inclusion
Everyone’s needs are being addressed. Everyone is engaged meaningfully. Everyone is physically involved and actively participating. The society is designed to embrace differences.
Inclusion won't happen in one day
Incorporating diversity into society will not be easy, and it will take many opinions and changing circumstances to change it. It will encompass the communities in which individuals live and the strong personal and organizational identities that have been formed over time. When certain changes occur, the fear begins that the identity will disintegrate. It gradually changes its shape, meeting resistance from the side of vested interests and those who feel their identity is threatened. And as a result, it may be reborn as a new value or penetrate society as a different form.
This pic is a research on "The Long Road: Building Effective Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management Organisations."
Gender Neutral Bathroom
Think about gender-neutral Bathroom.
A transgender person may have to use a restroom that is different from their his or her gender identity, or a non-binary person may want to use either.
So there could be decision like "Let's think inclusion, and build restrooms that can be used regardless of gender!"
There could be a chance that some of people would say that they do not have any particular problem with the current separate toilets, or that it might pose a danger to them.
However, gender-neutral restrooms already have been in use in France many years, and a UCLA study has demonstrated that there is no evidence that transgender people's use of public facilities consistent with their gender identity increases safety risks.
But people are not smart enough to accept that fact, so there is a phase of forming new common sense which will take time.
Inclusion in Social media
Less Zero Sum Environment
Social media and exclusion
On Facebook or Instagram, what you see might be Disneyland trip or fancy life of your friends. Why do they post this kind of content?
Research done by University of Alabama Huntsville of 239 college students revealed that the main reasons for Instagram use are “Surveillance/Knowledge about others,” “Documentation,” “Coolness,” and “Creativity.”
The next significant finding was a positive relationship between those who scored high in interpersonal interaction and using Instagram for coolness, creative purposes, and surveillance.
Another interesting finding shows that there is a positive relationship between high levels of social activity (traveling, going to sporting events, visiting friends, etc.) and being motivated to use Instagram as a means of documentation.
In reference to narcissism, there was a positive relationship between using Instagram to be cool and for surveillance.
This is because they want to boast their lives and get likes as much as possible. Incentive itself is designed to make people feel left out, and this will lead to feel social exlusion.
Getting likes and followers or just boasting their "cool" life are motivations to post, and that will make people feel excluded.
weBelong has no numbers
weBelong is app for marginalized community to connect and stay in touch. It is not inclusive enough yet, but built based on the thought of inclusion and weBelong is trying to create a social system where people think in a zero-sum way.
You will never see the nunmber of likes on others post on weBelong, so that you don't have to pretend to be somoene, you can be yourself.
That makes weBelong users less toxic and feel included. The motivation to post will be helping others, just sharing their emotions, and so on.
Of course, still there are several posts about their nice life, but since the numbers are not shown, you will never compare your post with others post.
Safe space for being different
Being different is really tough especially if the environment is not safe enough.
One of the example is about being transgender. 2021, the Center for Cyberbullying Research released a survey on teen bullying of a sample of 2,546 teens ages 13-17 to determine whether factors such as age, gender, sexual orientation, and race contribute to cyberbullying
Research shows that transgender people are about 1.5 times more likely to be bullied online.
Safe space could be a place where everyone in the community feel valid and confident, and won't be exposed to any harassment, discrimination, criticism, or any other emotional or physical harm.
How to make safe space online?
Protecting people from bullies online is really tough to make it. Segregation sounds like one of the idea to make it but it will have negative impact from the long term perspective; Segregation might cause the worse problem.
But at the same time, the environment where you might get criticized is not comfortable and safe at all. So how to make it? The answer could be in improving Inclusion.
How to improve Inclusion on social media
Groups start highly segregated and unassimilated and become dispersed and assimilated over time. The first step to make the space safer, just one of the option though, is to change the state of segregation.
If the networks that form around a social dilemma are highly fragmented, it can be difficult for actors to develop the social capital necessary for cooperative behavior to emerge.
Birds of a feather flock together
This phenomenon is not new: since the 1950s, sociologists have discovered that "birds of a feather flock together." Homophily always shapes the social segregation, it becomes online because of those tech giants.
According to research done by m Ca'Foscari Univerity of Venice, the Institute for Scientific Interchange Foundation, the University of Brescia and the Sapienza University of Rome, they has found that different kinds of social media platforms foster different levels of segregation in online communities.
"It has been noted in mainstream media that social media sites tend to foster idealistic segregation—leading to so-called "echo chambers," in which people with the same views on certain topics gather and support one another, a process that some have suggested leads to increased polarization in politics. In this new effort, the researchers wanted to verify such reports using actual data and also to find out if different types of sites lead to different levels of segregation."
Social media without filter
Most social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and Snapchat, have algorithms that enhance social segregationn or echo by allowing artificial intelligence to shape your timeline based on likability and see the best content you are likely to like to see.
weBelong has simple algorithm so far, order by created at or updated at. The reason behind tech giants creating algorithm based on likability is about their business model, getting money from advertisers. Those social media have only one purpose, making people stay on the platform as long as possible.
So social media which optimize your likability makes your world narrow and less diverse. And that is why weBelong does not generate timeline formations that limit exposure to diverse perspectives.
Social media as a place being yourself
Being yourself is about being respected as indivisual. A place where you don't have to boast or pretend to be someone else to get followers or likes.
Interacting with people to get followers makes your life empty and vain.
What is inclusion?
Inclusion is about everyone feels valued and respected as an individual, which is ideal.
So the first step is to create a system where everyone feels they can give thier opinions and those opinions are heard.
Listen to marginalized people, build some new solutions based on it, see how it works, then re-build the new environment where everyone is respected.
How to make inclusive decision
One of the bad example of inclusion is a society or group where the decision makers are all-similar. Lack of diversity itself might lead to lack of inclusion, because it will be extremely difficult to imagine the life of being some of marginalized communities.
So it is extremely critical to bring diverse background people into decision makers.
Do quick to get feedback
There will be always criticism toward actions, and that is good thing to implement inclusive society. Resouces are limited, so do as quick as possible, and get feedback. That is the closest way to make inclusive world.
A place where you can be yourself. A place you are valid. 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability, The Black or African American alone non-Hispanic population is 12.1% of population in the US, and 1 in 6 US teens identify themselves as LGBTQ.
Inclusion is about a concept that everyone feels respected. Let's build a space together with weBelong by respecting others, sharing your kindness, being without monopoly, away from brainwash.