Cultural Diversity

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Diversity is a commitment by an individual or a group of people to recognize and appreciate a variety of characteristics in an environment that promotes and celebrates individual characters and their collective achievements. Ethnocentrism is a claim or a belief that a group of people is superior to other groups.

Melting refers to a heterogeneous society with different cultural behaviors that join to form a harmonious society with a common culture.

A minority group is a group of individuals that constitute a numerical minority. They are in a non-dominant position, in a given setting (Tierney, 2007).

Emigration refers to the act whereby a person or a group of people permanently leave their country or area of origin and settle in another region or country.

Immigration is the movement of a person or a group of people into a new non-native region or country, which may be due to economic, job or academic opportunities or family reunion.

Culture is the cumulative deposit of knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes, meaning, religion, roles, relations and possessions that a group of people acquires in the course of generations.

There are four ways to identify a group of people. These include the race, ethnicity, religion and gender of the group in question. Within these four approaches, there are five important characteristics. These are unequal treatment, distinguished physical or cultural traits and involuntary membership, subordination and in-group marriages that the group shares (Reynold, 1993). A racial group is a collection of individuals distinguished by obvious physical differences such as skin and hair color. In this regard, people may classify themselves as Blacks, Whites and Asians. However, this description varies from one region to another depending on factors such as the level of integration of different races within a given setting. The acceptability of an individual within a racial group is a factor of physical distinctiveness rather the variation in culture. An ethnic group is a group of individuals with the same origin and culture. Different ethnic groups possess distinctive cultural values and patterns. An example of ethnic groups is the Hispanics and Irish Americans. The disparity in ethnic groups segments individuals in accordance to shared norms, values and traditions.  A religious group is a group of individuals who share similar religious beliefs. In this regard, people may be Roman Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Buddhists among others. Religious groups result due the diversity in views regarding aspects of spirituality. A gender group traditionally refers to a collection of either males or females. However, changes in various aspects of socialization and the definition of gender have widened that scope of gender classification to encompass descriptions such as gender-queer, bi-gender and transgender.

 Individuals label groups of people in order to give them a distinctive identity based on certain characteristics defined within a society. This may be due to a shared characteristic that members of a society views as not a representation of their normal way of life. In addition, labeling may result due to the segmentation of individuals through a bureaucratic process, government policies and the activities of organizations that seek to promote certain objectives within a society. Furthermore, labeling may result where the society isolates a group whose members require special care and treatment.

Labeling creates distinct communities within the society. Labeling of people can be either positive or a negative depending on aspects of manipulation by groups that intent to achieve a certain objective. In this regard, labeling can result in both positive and negative effect to a person or group of concern (Specter, 2004). When the labeling results in positive effects, it may increase self-confidence for an individual or a group that the labeling concerns. As a result, the individual or group may become motivated. Moreover, this will introduce a positive outlook in their live and activities. Negative labeling can make individuals anti-social in order to escape shame and rejection. It results largely due to lack of understanding, skills and resources within a given setting. Thus, individuals assign certain status to groups within the society because they lack the requirements to support such groups. Societies modify roles relating to a label in order to reinforce, support or legitimize the way people treat a labeled group. 

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