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can a book help a person become more open-minded?
Posted 8/1/14
I came across this random facebook post by jk rowling... and I thought i'd make this poll to ask for people's opinion.

http://mic.com/articles/95236/psychologists-find-a-surprising-thing-happens-to-kids-who-read-harry-potter

In summary: "Harry Potter's greatest feat might not have been defeating Voldemort, but teaching young people around the world to battle prejudice. At least that's the finding of a new paper in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, which claims reading the Harry Potter series significantly improved young peoples' perception of stigmatized groups like immigrants, homosexuals or refugees."


Can a book help improve a person's outlook on prejudices?
I would say yes. Although I believe some books can also corrupt a person too.
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25 / M / Fenix, AZ
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Posted 8/1/14 , edited 8/1/14
Well considering that we can get influenced by TV, music, and video games etc. this comes as no surprise.
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26 / M / Waterloo, Ontario
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Posted 8/1/14 , edited 8/1/14
And the funny thing is EVEN people who CLAIM to be unprejudiced are probably prejudiced in some way, shape or form.
Myki52 
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Posted 8/1/14 , edited 8/1/14
They are probably more open minded just because they are willing to read the book. And some very narrow minded ideas come from books. But, in the case of the Harry Potter series and similar books, the exposure to new ideas can be eye opening. There are many books like that. Uncle Tom's Cabin opened a whole country to the plight of the slave. Frankenstein made us look to the heart of the monster. Catch 22 made us question war and authority. The Lord of the Rings trilogy and even the Wizard of Oz may have done some of what the Harry Potter series did. And most good Science Fiction and Fantasy already had that effect on readers. Read any Ursula K LeGuin book to rethink sexuality, economics, or racial identity,
However, one book, like Westward Ho, can also narrow a readers mind or instill prejudices. So, the reader needs a variety of viewpoints in order to think for themselves.
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21 / M / California
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Posted 8/1/14
It all really depends on the contents of said books, and the perception, knowledge and thought process of the reader at the time of reading. I mean it's easy to interpret something differently, it happens all the time. It's how progress is made, and regrettably it is also how progress is also halted.

Sorry, I don't have any examples or if my opinion is vague. I kinda actually am pretty satisfied with Myki52's examples.
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39 / M / In your darkest f...
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Posted 8/1/14
It depends on the person. Some are set in their ways and nothing will change that.
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F / Chicago
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Posted 8/1/14 , edited 8/1/14
Definitely, as long as that person has an open mind. If they don't then anything that goes against his or her values will be immediately ignored. I think that there are also books that are so touching, soul reaching, powerful, or whatever you want to call it that it can break down a persons prejudicial barriers.

Prejudicial, racial, sexist, homophobic, and other hateful barriers are put up for many different reasons. Usually it is because these people are under educated, fearful, misinformed, or have a hard time thinking for themselves. Books, even if it's a fictional story, have been known for a very long time to reach peoples hearts and influence them positively. If one is able to include the information needed and present it in any format that can reach people and calm the fears of the misinformed or hateful then that is amazing. I believe that books are a wonderful medium to reach people with; the arts in general are the best way I think.

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30 / M / Central KY.
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Posted 8/2/14
Sure! Knowledge can come from anywhere...Life itself is but a "Book"...We get to fill Out the Pages as to how We Ourselves as individuals wish for it to go...
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Posted 8/3/14

Can a book help improve a person's outlook on prejudices?


For an ignorant person, yes, I believe so because of the reason stated in the article above.

For an open person, yes, I think so because it shows that person that they are not alone in their viewpoint which might give them more confidence in it.

For a close-minded person, no, i don't feel this would be the case because a book can't continue to make a point once it has been shut.
manisa 
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Posted 8/3/14
I believe it can.
Posted 8/3/14
If a book alone can change the way you view something, that's all well and good and entirely possible.
However, if your opinion or chosen mindset can be swayed after a single reading, then it was weak to begin with.
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Posted 8/3/14
Yes. Books can introduce people to all sorts of ideas/personalities/groups they'd never meet otherwise.
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24 / M / Virginia,USA
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Posted 8/15/15
Enders Game totally changed the way i think and view life. as did the count de monte christo
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24 / F / United States, DE
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Posted 8/15/15 , edited 8/15/15
Well, The Bible is a book, and look at how much it has influenced so many people.

That aside, I certainly think that books can change people's views on things and make them look at things differently.
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in a painting
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Posted 8/15/15
Yes. Though it depends on the book of course.
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