BUILDING CULTURAL AWARENESS
Created on Fri Dec 07 2018 14:17:53 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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STEP INTO MY SHOES
BUILDING CULTURAL AWARENESS
ROOTS AND OFFSHOOTS(ERASMUS+)
THE CONCEPT OF DIVERSITY AND ITSDIMENSIONS
The demographic makeupof European society haschanged dramatically in the last 25 years, and it willcontinue to change.Living and working in our societywill require that each of us become increasingly awareof the challenge of cultural change.This workshop provides an overview of the concept of cultural diversity.
It will help you• Increase your awareness of the various dimensions ofdiversity.• Examine your own cultural identity and how thatidentity affects your relationships with others.• Become more aware of your own attitudes, percep-tions, and feelings about various aspects of diversity.• Make a commitment to increase your understandingof diversity issues.
WHAT IS DIVERSITY?
The short answer: differences.Human diversity means differences among people. It’s all of us in our rich and infinite variety.
WHY DO WE NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUTDIVERSITY?
Trend 1:The global market
Trend 2:The makeup of Europeanpopulation began changing dramatically.
Trend 3: The mosaic societyof Europe
We have all heard the expression that our world isshrinking. To a largeextent,the strength of oureconomy depends on our ability to dobusiness withcountries in other parts of the world. To stay competitivein the world market,Europe must designproducts that meet the needsof people from other cultures. In addition, we must develop strategiesfor marketing those products to othercountries. Such activities bring diversepeoples to the planning and negotiating table.If we want to sell our products and makeprofitable business deals with peoplefromother countries, it only makes good business sense to develop anunderstandingand appreciation of their cultures—their languages, needs, wants, and customs.
TREND 1 THE GLOBAL MARKET
TREND 2 CHANGING DEMOGRAPHICS
The Asian population will be the fastest-growing population and will more than double in size.
Motto of the EU: United in diversity
Trend 3:The concept of Europe
In a“mosaic” society, individuals maintain their own cultural patterns, such as language, lifestyle, and religiouspractices. Differences are valued and appreciated, aswhen countless colored stones join together to form amosaic.As a result, individuals canbe proud of their cultural heritage and uniqueness instead of being ashamed of their differences.
DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY
Diversity includes everyone, because people differfrom one another in many ways. In other words, thereare many dimensions of diversity.
DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY
SECONDARY DIMENSIONS:RELIGIOUS BELIEFSINCOMEEDUCATIONOCCUPATIONGEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION
PRIMARY DIMENSIONS:AGERACEETHNICITYGENDERPHISICAL ABILITIES/ QUALITIES
DIMENSIONS OF DIVERSITY
THERE ARE NINE IMPORTANT THINGS WE NOTICE ABOUT THE PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY. PLEASE, TRY TO LIST THEM
TASK 1Take a few minutes to think about your own community.Consider each of the followingdimensions of diversity:
Physical/ mental limitations
DISCUSSION:1. How important is each of these differences to the people in your community orworkplace?2. Are people treated differently based on these factors?3. Are decisions made about people based on these factors?
Culture is the totality of values, beliefs, and behaviorscommon to a large group of people. A culture may in-clude shared language and folklore, communicationstyles, and ideas and thinking patterns—the “truths”accepted by members of the group. Members of a cul-ture have similar expectations of life.
Culture can be further defined as the body oflearned beliefs, traditions, principles, and guides forbehavior that are shared among members of a particular group. Culture serves as a roadmap for both perceivingand interacting with the world.Another way we can define culture is to saythat culture is the behavioral software “that programs us all.”
• The friends you associate with• The social activities you enjoy• The foods you prefer• The religion you practice• The clothing you wear• The neighborhood you live in• The vehicle you drive• The music you enjoy• The language(s) you speak
Imagine that you woke up tomorrow morning and found that you belonged to another culture, another ethnic group, or some other dimension of diversity. Consider the items below with your new culture/group in mind.
1. What parts of my life would remain the same?2. What parts of my life would be different?
WHERE DID WERECEIVEOURCULTURALPROGRAMMING?
Where Did We Receive Our Cultural Programming?
Cultural Filters-“On Automatic”
WRITE A SUBTITLE
Because each of us is different, we see and interpret behavior through our own cultural filter. One effect ofour cultural programming is that it puts us “on automatic.”When we were children learning about the world,some of the messages we received about people whoare different from us were misinformation. Some of these messages came from our parents, friends, teachers, and others. These people did not intend to feed usmisinformation. They were simply passing on the messages that had been passed down to them. Some of themessages we received came from people. Some of themessages came from media, such as television and textbooks.
Some of the misinformation constituted stereotypes,Thesestereotypes became“mental tapes” that affected whatwe thought andhow we felt about peoplewho weredifferent from ourselves.Those tapes also affected howwe responded topeoplewho were differentfrom us.Those responses became automatic. As adults, most of us are still on automatic.
Read each word or phrase below one at a time.For each one, note the first thought that comes to yourmind. Don’t spend a lot of time thinking—just notethe first thing that comes to mind.
evasive,expensivesomeone who compromises
absent-minded,intelligent, educator,lifelong learning
man in a wheelchair
lacking in disciplinelazygreedyunattractivejolly
When we stereotype, we place a person in a particular“mental file” not based on information gained throughknowledge aboutorpersonal experience with theparticular person.Rather, we assign the person to a“mental file” based on what we believe about a group towhich the person belongs.
Stereotypes exist for every group of peopleimaginable. Even though we may not like to admit thatwe stereotype people, we all do it. Stereotyping makesit easier to function in a world filled with unknowns.Stereotypes help us organize our thinking and managemassive amounts of information. We classify the infinite variety of human beings into a convenient handful of “types.”Once in place, stereotypes are difficult toundo. It’s hard to get off “automatic.”
DEVELOPING DIVERSITY COMPETENCE
Recognize differences as diversity rather than abnormal behavior
Respect the benefits of diverse values and behaviorsto people and to the organization.
Have a clear sense of your individual culture.
Understand how the culture of your organization affects those whose culture is different.
Accept that each culture finds some values more important and some behaviors more desirable than others.
Understand the effect that historic distrust has onpresent-day interactions.
Recognize your own ethnocentricity—the ways inwhich you stereotype, judge, and discriminate, andyour emotional reactions to conflicting cultural values
Recognize the similarities that are shared across the“human culture,” regardless of the differences thatexist among individual cultures and groups. Theseinclude, but are not limited to: desire for safety, goodhealth, education and well-being of our children,love and belongingness, self-esteem (feeling of wor-thiness), and the ability to pursue and achieve our
Recognize the similarities that are shared across the“human culture,” regardless of the differences thatexist among individual cultures and groups. Theseinclude, but are not limited to: desire for safety, goodhealth, education and well-being of our children,love and belongingness, self-esteem (feeling of worthiness), and the ability to pursue and achieve our potential.
• Learn factual information about other cultures andgroups with different backgrounds.• Read an article or book about a cultural or socialgroup different from your background. Compareyour views with those of the author.• See a movie about other cultural lifestyles. Comparehow you live your life to what you’ve seen on film.• Attend a cultural event, celebration, or holiday program of a different culture that you have never expe-rienced before. Compare the similarities and differences of this event/celebration to those of your cul-tural group. Find out the meanings behind the differences.• Learn a new language.• Interview a person from a different culture to learnabout their culture. How did they grow up? Whatwere the important messages passed on to familymembers? How are children viewed? Older people?
• Take personal responsibility for the way you respondto difference.• Make continued and sincere attempts to understandthe world from others’ points of view.• Develop skills in cross-cultural communication.• Develop problem-solving skills.• Develop skills in conflict management.• Look for ways to work effectively with diversegroups of people.
• Teach others about cultural differences.• Develop a mentoring relationship with someonefrom a different culture or identity group.• Show more patience when working and interacting with people whohave different learning styles thanyou.• Integrate diversity issues as an ongoing topic in staffmeetings at work.• Develop a personal plan for continued learning toward diversity competency