Perspectives on Diversity and Culture:
Culture has many different meanings for many of us. For some it refers to an appreciation of music, art, food, clothing, things we discussed, even what we read. Cultures are not the product of just one person. Culture continuously evolve around a group of people sharing ideas and interacting with the environment. Cultural patterns such as language and politics make no sense except in terms of the interaction of people.
I was curious and wanted to know if my family member shared and viewed culture and diversity the way I viewed culture and diversity. I was elated to know that my family member shared her views on culture much the way we were taught and evolved in society and our region.
Family Member Response:
Culture is complexed, but diversity is easy for me because of our up-bringing and rules in our home. Culture is a belief, knowledge, morals, and customs shared by family members. Diversity is simply acceptance of other people beliefs as being real and important to them.
Diversity is showing no discrimination of minorities or other social groups different than my own. Diversity is being able to work with people from different groups and backgrounds, get along together without conflicts and fighting. Culture is the way we dress, the foods we eat, and how we act in the world.
Culture is many different traditions that distinguishes social groups in a specific society. Culture refers language, traditions, morals, clothing, food, and beliefs that set peoples apart from others. Diversity is a natural part of life and meant to serve the group and its members, allow the social groups to express themselves without biases. Society should embrace diversity through acceptance advancements from the contributions of their unique members. Diversity allows each social group to excel and celebrate their unique differences.
- Which aspects of culture and diversity that I have studied in this course are included in the answers I received—and what are some examples?
All answers given from the three responses have validity. The three response related that culture is unique to its own social group. Our resource reading for this week, “ Beyond culture clash”: Understanding of immigrant experiences, illustrates the ways that culture and identity are constructed within the double movement of discourse and representation. It offers examples of how dominant representations create simplistic understandings of the identities of immigrant youth, as well as the ways youth are constructing new identities (Ngo, (2008). This is one example from the course reading that exemplify the true meaning of culture and identities.
In order to account for the complexity of different cultures and diversity in families’ experiences, and the ever-changing nature of culture and identity, we need to move beyond just understandings of culture and diversity and move forward in creating significant changes in attitudes.
- Which aspects have been omitted—and what are some examples of such omission?
The responses did not address the true meaning of family and how it relates to culture awareness and identity. Subjectivity has to come into play if we are going to truly address and understand how cultures are different and similar. As professionals, educators, policy makers, advocates, and community workers we must have an understanding of cultures that are different, yet we all share pride in our way of life.
- In what ways has thinking about other people’s definitions of culture and diversity influenced my own thinking about these topics?
I feel all cultures have universal traits, different cultures have developed their own specific ways of carrying out or expressing them. Culture and society are not the same thing. While cultures are complexes of learned behavior patterns and perceptions, societies are groups of interacting social groups. In societies are groups of people who directly or indirectly interact with each other. People in human societies also generally perceive that their society is distinct from other societies in terms of shared traditions and expectations.
While human societies and cultures are not the same thing, they are connected because culture is created and transmitted to others in a society. Cultures are groups working and interacting together in a tradition manner. They are the continuously changing and growing, we must grow with them.
Ngo, B. (2008). Beyond “culture clash”: Understanding of immigrant experiences. Theory into Practice, 47(1), 4–11.
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