‘Cultural diversity’ is a word that is having a great impact on the society at large. The question that comes to mind is, how can these mere two words cause such a great impact on society? The answer to this is hidden in the meaning of these individual words.
Culture is a word that we are all are aware of; it means a particular set of characteristics, language, cuisine, religion, social habits, arts, and music embodied by a group of people.
While diversity means a range of different things, elements, or more, so basically a variety or mixture of things.
When these two words combine together, they give a very powerful meaning. The words combined together mean the coexistence of different religions, ethnicities, or cultural groups in one organization or population.
So cultural diversity is the opposite of mono culture, and it accepts and tolerates the practices of other cultures.
What Does Being Culturally Diverse Means?
Culture is something that defines us as individuals; it is what gives us our identity. The language we speak, the religion we follow, the holidays we celebrate, the traditions that are passed down from generation to generation, all is something that shapes us up and gives us our different identities.
We live in a world where people of different cultures are residing in closed communities. Today, with the help of the internet and media, many different cultures are being broadcast.
Cultural diverseness is really important so that a person can work in the changing world comfortably.
The question here is, who is considered culturally diverse? The answer to this is simple, a person who follows the following attributes is considered a culturally diverse person, the attributes are:
• Recognition: the person should recognize that all cultures are different and that there are many different types of cultures around the world
• Respect: the person should accept and respect the traditions of different cultures
• Value: the person should value the contributions of the other cultures
• Acknowledge: the person should acknowledge the differences of the cultures and the contribution of the cultures in the society
• Empower and encourage: the person should encourage and empower the diversity of the cultures
• Celebrate: the person should tolerate the differences of other cultures, but it is better to celebrate them to encourage unity and peace between different cultures
Although being a culturally diverse person is important, but many other factors also contribute to an individual’s behavior.
What Are The Types Of Diversity?
Diversity is a word that is most commonly used when referring to culture. But there are other types that have an impact on human behavior. There are different types of diversity which are;
• Internal Diversity: refers to all the things that you are born with, and it is difficult to change. This includes:
Gender: gender being whether they identify as male, female, transgender, etc. as it is still seen that males are treated better than females
Age: mostly the working age is from18-55 in most countries, with 30-35 being the most common ages.
Physical and mental ability: if there is any disability present in them that effects, the way they interact and react
Appearance: if there is a physical deformity or if there is any sort of genetic disorder that affects the way they act
Ethnicity: the color or race they identify with, if they are Africans, Hispanic, Asians, etc., this also tells how they think, or they are treated by the world
Sexual orientation: if they identify as asexual, homosexual, gay, bisexual, heterosexual, etc. as some groups will always remain a minority as compared to the heterosexual group
• External Diversity: it refers to all the things that had an impact on you as a person, these characteristics are changeable as you are not born with them. These characteristics are developed from external influences. These include
Education: the level of education and from where they received their education.as most senior jobs are given to people with higher educational backgrounds like ivy leagues students are preferred over community college ones
Class(socioeconomic status) the financial status, education, and occupation of a person
Religion: the religious background of a person. Countries like the US and Canada have over 50 religious groups
Experiences: the level of experience you have in an occupation
Geographical location: the area you reside in determines how you think and operate
• Workplace Diversity: in this, diversity belongs to the organization. The work you do, the department, the station you work at all effects an individual. These include:
o Management status
• World Diversity: this diversity arises with the world view, by traveling experiencing or reading about different histories has an impact. These include:
The internal and external diversities have the greatest role to play in an individual’s life as it teaches them how to act and perceive the world.
Each type of diversity has a different impact on a person. But together, they all fall into the category of cultural and social diversity. This is because each aspect of the individual’s life culturally and socially impacts on how they act and behave.
What Is The Difference Between Social Diversity And Cultural Diversity?
Differentiating between the two is difficult as they both are linked to one another. However, there still are some key differences between social and cultural diversity that can help differentiate how they impact society or the world at large.
First, let us analyze a few differences in culture and society that will help us gain a better understanding of how social and cultural diversity differs.
|It is beliefs, learned behavior and practices passed on from generations||It is a group of independent people associated with each through their common area of living|
|The culture helps to differentiate between two societies||Society is a common living place for a group of people who might develop a shared culture over time|
|Culture unites social structures||Society constructs social structures|
|Culture has guidelines on how to live||Society is a structure that organizes people|
|Cultures are a shared belief of a group||Society is individuals with shared common beliefs|
When we look at social diversity, it generally represents societies and practices observed by people that are forced upon them.
An example of social diversity is the difference in the way of living between different classes of people or the interactions between people with different educational backgrounds.
In both cases, the effect on how a person acts and behaves is different, and how they tackle a situation will be different.
Cultural diversity represents the difference in cultural norms and beliefs. The best example being the eastern and western cultures.
They both have influenced each other greatly, like in fashion or more. Individuals living in different cultures would have different perspectives and thus act differently in different situations.
What Is The Importance Of Cultural Diversity?
In this modern era, being a culturally diverse person is very important. Because migrations and traveling have become easier, different people are going to different cities, countries, or even continents to create better opportunities for themselves.
So different having people of different cultures, ethnicities, religions, etc. is becoming increasingly common in workplaces, schools, and more.
The US is thus the best example to showcase a culturally diverse environment. It is a place that is called the land of opportunities, and thus it has been home to a diverse range of people.
Although it has faced a fair share of challenges along the way but with a lot of immigrants residing in the US, you can see a wide variety of people that are following different cultures.
The introduction of so many cultures in the US has also been the root cause that gave rise to many subcultures that are accepted by the majority. The diverse environment has helped to make the people more tolerant and accepting of the change.
Not only that, but according to research, a diverse environment also helps an organization work better and helps in generating more revenue. According to research, many statistics have been reported regarding the effect of diversity in an organization, which are:
• Performance of diverse teams was 35% times better than non-diverse teams
• Employees support diversity and almost 67% of the job seekers prefer a diverse organization
• Gender diversity in an organization helps promotes better performance in companies by almost 12%
• Companies with greater diversity had 19% more chance at creating more innovative products for consumers
A diverse environment, especially in a company and organization, is a great way to ensure the progress of a company as it helps to find better solutions and alternatives to problems. It helps to expand the communication and the thought process in a work environment.
A diverse organization with a diverse workforce not only helps promote tolerance but also helps understand and solve problems better and faster.
Cultural diversity is a great way to help gain new perspectives in different areas of life and also help eliminate the cultural biases or stereotypes that have been developed over the years.
Different cultures have helped in contributing to new languages, skills, knowledge, innovations, and much more. However, the question that comes to mind is that is diversity only limited to culture, or does it have other types that affect the world.
Cultural Diversity And Society
With time diversity is increasing in society. This is due to multiple factors, which are:
• Improved living standards
• Gender mobility
• Increased border mobility
The impact of the diversity on society is great as different cultures bring their own cuisines, fashions, traditions, and more that can then affect society.
Different cultures can result in positive as well as negative effects depending upon how well the society handles it. With media at large influencing the minds of people, diverse cultures can help mitigate the stereotypical assumptions or cause some bigger differences that can impact society negatively.
Although the increased media coverage has proven to be beneficial in regards to the fact that it helps promote a better understanding of different cultures. But it also helps give rise to radical ideas that can be problematic.
Society and cultures go hand in hand as the working of a society can not be completed with a few common beliefs. A society that has similar cultural background blossoms more than a diverse one as they have more shared beliefs and practices.
Cultural diversity in a community or an organization mainly teaches us acceptance and tolerance towards others. It helps us work as a cohesive unit and collectively.
To date, people still have to learn a lot about it, but as time moves forward, a change is being observed; however, minute it may seem.
From the era when the blacks were just slaves to the time where they are president. We are evolving, but still, a lot need to evolve as more and more subcultures arise around the Diversity is observed all around us and is influencing our thoughts our values in ways that we are unable to depict the change, and changes can be positive. Although there are different types of diversities that surround us, the one that has the greatest impact is cultural diversity.
Cultural diversity is something that can help the world at large to become more tolerant and accepting. As it is a way to move forward and succeed in the world to come. CWP
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