Perspectives on Diversity and Culture

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The three individuals I chose to interview were my sister, my dad, and one of my best friends. The following are their responses to the question of defining culture and diversity.

“Culture is the flavor and seasoning that you grow up around and exist in every day. Culture does not define who you are, but changes and alters/enhances you.” –Brandon (friend/screenwriter)

“Diversity is surrounding yourself with people and ideas that are different than you are. It can be ethnicity, sex, or ideology.” -Brandon

“Culture is an individual or group of people with specific origins, traditions, beliefs, generally developed over time.” –Carrie (my sister)

“Diversity is people’s differences. Generally coming together with other differences.” –Carrie

“Culture is something along the lines of behaving or acting in a way that is understood and accepted by a group of people in a workplace, classroom, church, etc.” –Dad

“Diversity is when there exists a spectrum of different types of people, ideas within an area or location.” –Dad

Aspects of culture and diversity that I have studied in this course are included in the above definitions in that culture is defined with words like “traditions,” “beliefs,” “enhances,” “behaving,” and “origins.” These words all contribute to the definition of what culture is. For example, traditions include how weddings and funerals are preformed, holidays that are celebrated, and meals that are eaten. Behaviors can refer to how certain cultures react to change or how they present themselves in public. “Culture refers to how particular groups of people live” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010, p. 55).

Some of what is defined as “deep culture” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010) is omitted in these definitions. For example, the role of children, health care, and extended family relationships all play important roles in defining culture. Social identification and reflecting on one’s own practices, behaviors, and customs before understanding or categorizing someone else’s are concepts that are omitted from these definitions of diversity (Deaux, 1996).

Reflecting on these definitions of culture and diversity has influenced my own thinking on the topics in that the words “flavor and seasoning” in Brandon’s definition really stuck with me and painted a vivid picture of culture. I also appreciated the personal undertones of his definition of diversity. Brandon is one of my closest friends. He is black and I am white. He is politically liberal and I am conservative. He is male and I am female. We have apparent differences, but a bond that is closer than most siblings.

References:

Deaux, K., Social Identification. In Social Psychology Handbook of Basic Principles.(E.T. Higgins, and A.K. Kruglan ski.eds). Guilford, New York 

Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

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3 thoughts on “Perspectives on Diversity and Culture

  1. Renee it looks like the people you interviewed had a good idea of what diversity and culture are. It was good to see you interviewed quite a few people. I did also but did not include them in my blog.

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  2. Renee,
    I thought Brandon’s definition was very interesting but appropriate. It made me think about the book, “All the Color of My Skin”, we use this book in our classroom to talk about the different cultures of people in the world and their skin tones. Very good post!!

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  3. Hi Renee, I truly enjoyed reading your blog posting about “perspectives on culture and diversity.” One of your responses used rather interesting words to capture my attention on his views and opinions on “culture.” I simply loved the definition that Brandon provided about culture. I agree, “Culture is ever changing.” It is like flavor and seasoning, it changes the way it taste, just as life, as you experience new things, it changes the way we think, and you gain new experiences as you journey through life, and no one will go through life and never change,

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