Tags: consumption/consumerism, knowledge, psychology/social psychology, culture, ethnocentricism, narrative, subtitles/CC, 21 to 60 mins
Access: Ted Talks
Summary: This clip is taken from the TED Talks, a non-profit which hosts presentations related to ideas of technology, entertainment, and design. In it, Sheena Iyengar points to three assumptions Americans typically hold: 1) It is best to make your own choices in life; 2) the more choices you have, the more likely you are to make the best choice; and 3) never say no to choice. The talk draws from Iyengar's own research, and not only argues that a preference for choice is culturally specific and not universal, but also that Americans' obsession with choice is often harmful. This clip might be useful when teaching an introduction to sociology course, as it effectively unveils ethnocentricism and demonstrates the way we all carry and impose onto others unexamined assumptions about the world. The clip concludes with the notion of cultural narratives and suggests that the American narrative of the goodness of choice should be reconsidered.
Submitted By: Lester Andrist
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