When asking and reaching out to friends, colleagues, and family members about their definitions of culture and diversity, it was not a shock to me that some of them had similar definitions. Some of them related culture to one’s upbringing, history or ethnicity and they defined diversity as being different individuals to beliefs and languages.
In defining culture, I have observed that some pertinently acknowledged the dynamics of culture and its asserting Hall (1989, 1990) and Bhabha (1994) “continuous process of change and negotiation” (as cited in Ngo, 2008, p.6).
M. Brown, J. Crutchfield, V. Leaven, J. Maurer, D. Mobley, and L. Thomas all recognize culture and its complexity and all shared their insight:
Culture is developed from your environment and race. From the time you are born you enter a culture and as you grow you learn what it means to live within that culture (M. Brown, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
One’s ethic or history (J. Crutchfield, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
Culture is a group of individuals who share a set of beliefs, traditions, or a way of thought (V. Leaven, personal communication, January 21, 2016).
Culture is one’s native or home language, one’s way of thinking, attitudes, and beliefs (J. Maurer, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
One’s upbringing, traits and characteristics that defines them as a group of people (D. Mobley, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
Culture has many meanings. Culture can be a way of life for someone, or it can be a person’s background, or it can simply be many different nationalities coming together as one community.…(L. Thomas, personal communication, January 21, 2016).
In relations to diversity, most of the definitions considered of the differences and uniqueness of a person, heritage and their language.
M. Brown defined diversity as:
Diversity is recognizing the differences in culture. Diversity is having a mutual understanding and respect of others who are from different races, religion, culture, or belief system (M. Brown, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
J. Crutchfield definition is:
People coming together of different backgrounds, a mixture of different ideas (J. Crutchfield, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
V. Leaven defined it as:
A variety of differing thoughts, traditions, beliefs, languages, or ethnicities (V. Leaven, personal communication, January 21, 2016).
J. Maurer defined diversity as :
Being open minded to different people and different things, sexual orientation, physical abilities, and religious beliefs.
D. Mobley definition of diversity is:
Being unique, different from the rest, a variety (D. Mobley, personal communication, January 22, 2016).
L. Thomas defines diversity as:
Diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences (L. Thomas, personal communication, January 21, 2016).
When looking back at the different readings and my definition of culture and diversity, my friends, colleagues, and loved ones had similarities as well as differences as to what their definition of each word was. Some aspects that they all touched on were one’s personal background and history, race, religion, language, beliefs, and differences. Some aspects that were omitted to my surprise was age, gender, abilities and disabilities, physical attributes, and the different types of parenting homes such as single, gay/lesbian, foster home, grandparents, and/or legal custodians. In looking at other’s definition of culture and diversity it has influenced my own thinking about these topics by opening my eyes to see that no matter how different we are, we are still share similarities in certain aspects. No matter what culture we belong to or how diverse we are, we should all be able to come together in unison and help build one another up and learn of each other’s culture to help us understand each other better.
Ngo, B. (2008). Beyond “culture clash”: Understanding of immigrant experiences. Theory into Practice, 47(1), 4–11.
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