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.
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).