Social and Cultural Diversity Paper
This first part of “Social and Cultural Diversity Paper” is focused on the author’s reflections upon discrimination, cultural diversity and it also explores his own biases, from the perspective that these might become challenges in practicing therapy. This first part of the paper also presents definitions about cultural diversity and discrimination, which will be further developed in the following parts of the paper.
I.1 Definition of Cultural Diversity
The concept of cultural diversity indicates specificities of different cultures of the world that represent the uniqueness of certain populations. It implies acceptance and respect for one’s culture and also the fact that all cultures are equal. Unesco treats the cultural diversity subject in the context of an increased migration process, which implies processes of inclusion for the migrants in the countries where they travel for finding jobs and for living. The Organization sustains the necessity of promoting the cultures of the migrants all over the world, so that the local population to understand their cultural background and to respect their values. The purpose of this integration processes is to enhance the communication between representatives of different cultures, and to generate respect and understanding for other cultures (Unesco, “What Is Cultural Diversity?”).
Discrimination is a social phenomenon, which results in biasing, marginalizing people who are different than the majority, in terms of: race, ethnicity, religion, gender, physical or psychical differences, sexual orientation, age, also called vulnerable groups (“Human Rights and Vulnerable Groups”, n.d., p. 82). The discrimination is a result of an improper understanding of the cultural diversity. In other words, for fighting the discrimination and its results (marginalizing and biasing the vulnerable groups, offending, hurting, harming, even killing people belonging to these groups) there must be promoted the cultural diversity. Unesco is also militating for this idea, sustaining that there should be employed the innovative mass media for disseminating the importance of properly understanding and embracing cultural diversity (Unesco, “What Is Cultural Diversity?”).
II. Author’s Reflections
II.1 Personal History with Discrimination
The author had experienced various discrimination episodes that treated more vulnerable groups, but he will refer to a specific episode that implied an African American student. The writer has an African American colleague in university who is biased by campus colleagues and she is sometimes a victim of racial insults. The author of this paper finds this treatment not solely unfair, but clear hate crimes that should be punished, because they are highly impacting the African American student’s personal development. The author’s cultural background implies an understanding of the fact that regardless their gender or race and so on, people of the world are equal in rights and they should be treated with respect and integrated in society, by accepting their differences.
II.2 Author’s Memories regarding Cultural Differences
A group of Caucasian girls, who were also studying in the same faculty with the African American student, treated her disrespectfully, insulting her race and culture, as she walked out one day from university, by herself. As they were amused by this subject, the African American girl was embarrassed, barely hiding her tears. At that time, the writer of this paper could not react in any way, as well as many other people who were outside the university, who disapproved this behavior. Later on, however, the biased girl had become a close friend of the author, and integrated into a larger groups of friends of different races or ethnicities, who were defending themselves each time slurs would come across any person from the group. The group fights peacefully against discrimination, raising awareness regarding the effects of biasing and racism upon the victims.
II.3 Author’s Life Experience in Relation to Persons Different than Him
These experiences and others similar has influenced the author of this paper to be more opened to cultural diversity, to desire to know more about the specificities of people different than him. Whatever makes people different also gets them closer, is what the writer has learned from his interaction with cultural diversity. In the end, Caucasians, Black, Asian, etc., they are all people and they have the same emotions, feelings, aspirations. They all cry when they are sad, laugh when they are feeling good, go out with friends, love, communicate, socialize, go to parties or to work, regardless of their race or ethnicity. Another sort of thinking is unjust, unfair and condemnable.
II.4 Author’s Own Biases
The author of this paper is having problems with understanding homosexuality, and this represents his single bias. Although he never slurs, offends or attacks people with different sexual orientation, he is not comfortable with their public manifestation. As a therapist, the writer of this paper should understand homosexuals, their feelings and their reactions, in order to confront his biases, otherwise he will have a professional problem. People with different sexual orientation might need therapy just like any other person and the author is aware of that fact that it is their right to benefit of this service. But unless the author, as a therapist, finds a solution to overcome his biases, his disapproval of homosexual manifestation, and perceiving their cultural diversity, he will not be able to offer proper, professional counseling and this might harm this vulnerable group.
The paper treated in general lines aspects about cultural diversity, stating definitions about cultural diversity. This first part of the “Social and Cultural Diversity Paper” explored in detail the author’s perspective about discrimination, cultural diversity, biases and racism. The paper also explored the writer’s own biases, regarding homosexuality and it explained how these biases can stay in the way of objectively practicing therapy with professionalism.
Human rights and vulnerable groups (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.uk.sagepub.com/upm-data/11973_Chapter_5.pdf.
Unesco (n.d.) What is cultural diversity. Retrieved from http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13031&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html