Perspectives on Diversity and Culture

I asked three people from a variety of cultural backgrounds and age to give me their definition of culture and diversity.

My best friend, who lives in South Africa, she is a European female who is 32 years of age. Her definitions are:

Culture: Everything of your past that has moulded you to be who you are today, including physical, emotional and spiritual aspects.

Diversity: Being different

I also asked her boyfriend, who is an Indian male who is 40 years of age. His definitions are:

Culture: Way of life that has been mirrored by society through the ages.

Diversity: This word comes from the word ‘division’ and stems from pride.

My father, who is a European, male who is 65 years of age. His definitions are:

Culture: The term culture is very broad and it used to be very defined in my youth but has changed drastically 50 years with many changes from generation to generation in our family.

Diversity: Is exactly what it means, it means that we are all different and coming from South Africa I come into great diversity everyday and your diversity depends on which group and where you live as to how you will look and behave.

If I were to reflect on the above answers, it is very clear that culture and the word diversity are very broad topics that perhaps cannot always be defined into just a sentence. There is a resounding message that both words can mean ‘different’ and that who you are is influenced and moulded by many aspects of life.

I think certain aspects of culture and diversity have been omitted in the above definitions, namely:

  • that culture can be defined as surface culture and deep culture and how these two are very different
  • within each family there are different cultures that are diverse in their own unique way,
  • dominant culture is a big influence as to who we are and become.

Upon thinking about my friends and family’s definitions of culture and diversity I realised before entering this module I thought of culture and diversity in this way, however it has been broadened into a deeper and more meaningful manner. I am, however, interested about the view that culture stems from ‘pride’ as my best friends boyfriend commented. I am interested to know what my fellow colleagues think of this? It is certainly a different view that caught be by surprise.

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3 thoughts on “Perspectives on Diversity and Culture

  1. I love the quote you posted! It is so true. I think people have a difficult time seeing perspectives other than their own. That is why we have disagreements in our relationships and hate crimes in our society. The idea that culture is related to “pride”, I can see how that could be. Every person should be proud of who they are as well as where they came from. Being proud of yourself is being prideful!

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  2. I enjoyed reading the definitions from your friend from South Africa and her boyfriend from India. His definition of diversity really struck me, and made me think outside of the box. I love that your father and best friend both thought of diversity as being “different.” My family and friends thought of the same definition when I asked them. Great post!

    Logan

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