Cultural Diversity and You
Understanding cultural diversity from a sociological perspective is an important way to appreciate the wide-ranging impact that culture has on social interactions and experiences. Sociologists study cultural diversity to gain insights into how culture shapes social structures and inequalities, as well as how social structures and inequalities shape culture.
SOC FPX 2000 Assessment 1 Cultural Diversity and You
In this assessment, I will discuss my observation of racism in my locality and will connect it to social concepts of power. Afterward, I will conduct an analysis in order to draw credible sociological inferences. Moreover, I will discuss the significance of laws and policies in resolving issues related to diversity and discuss some strategies that can be employed to address challenges related to diversity. Lastly, I will discuss how personal characteristics and experiences can impact individuals’ feelings or reactions toward diversity issues.
Personal Experience and Concepts of Power
I had just finished my morning coffee and was relaxing on my front porch when I heard a commotion in my neighborhood. I stood up and saw my neighbor, Carter, walking home from the grocery store with a bag of groceries in his hand. As he passed by the house next to mine, the owner of the house, a white woman, came out and started yelling at him.
I couldn’t understand what she was saying at first, but as I drew closer, I realized that she was charging Carter with taking something from her porch. Carter looked upset and was trying to convince her that he hadn’t stolen anything, but the lady wouldn’t listen. Instead, she kept shouting at him and calling him a thug.
After a while, the lady went back inside while muttering angrily to herself. Carter, meanwhile, remained standing on the pavement, his expression one of dismay and shame. I could see the pain in his eyes, and it broke my heart.
Seeing this made me furious and frustrated. To me, it was obvious that the lady was discriminating against Carter due to his race. I knew that if he had been of a different ethnicity, she would never have accused him of stealing.
I couldn’t decide what to do. A piece of me wanted to go over to the lady and confront her, telling her that her actions were unacceptable and that they contributed to racism. But there was also a part of me that was afraid of making matters worse, making Carter feel even more out of place. After some consideration, I opted to remain stationary and take a step back to take a look around.
Connecting Experience to Social Concepts of Power
My observations of racism directed towards Carter, a Black neighbor of mine, can be explained via sociological concepts like power and inequality, as well as theoretical frameworks like Marx’s theory of inequality and Weber’s theory of inequality.
Marx’s inequality theory holds that economic disparity and the ruling class’s exploitation cause social inequality. White Americans are more privileged than Black Americans like Carter, and the discrimination that Carter faces can be seen as a manifestation of this inequity.
Weber’s theory of inequality emphasizes power’s role in influencing social relations and institutions, including cultural and social power. The cultural and societal dominance of white Americans can be seen as a root cause of the prejudice against whom Carter is subjected.
Analyzing Data to Make Valid Sociological Inferences
Black Americans in the United States have confronted deep-rooted racism throughout the history of the country. Disparities in health, wealth, and imprisonment rates are just some of the outcomes of long-standing bias. Numerous studies have been done by researchers making social inferences regarding the issue of racism against blacks in the US.
In the study by Jaeger and Sleegers (2022), racial prejudice is examined in the context of the sharing economy, which includes services like Uber and Airbnb. According to the research, Black Airbnb guests were less likely to be welcomed by hosts, and Black Uber riders were more likely to be subjected to discriminatory treatment. According to the findings, the algorithms employed by these websites may contribute to maintaining racial prejudice.
SOC FPX 2000 Assessment 1 Cultural Diversity and You
Cogburn (2019) explored the ways in which prejudice and stigma play a role in creating health disparities among African Americans. The author contends that increased stress and less access to healthcare brought on by systemic racism have added to higher instances of chronic illnesses like hypertension and diabetes among African Americans.
Similarly, Wright & Headley (2020) investigated how the race of individuals, along with other factors, affects the use of force by police officers. Furthermore, according to the research, officers were found to be more likely to use force against Black suspects, especially in ambiguous circumstances.
Application of Laws or Policies
Laws and policies are crucial in resolving issues related to diversity because they foster equity and combat discrimination. They provide a legislative structure that promotes the liberties of individuals and communities who have traditionally been marginalized or disadvantaged. The application of certain policies and laws to address diversity issues is discussed below.
Miller (2019) analyzed the impact of affirmative action on diversity in the workplace. The study found that affirmative action can help to increase diversity, particularly at higher levels of management, by increasing the pool of qualified candidates from historically underrepresented groups. The authors suggest that affirmative action can also help to promote diversity as a core value within organizations, which can, in turn, lead to a more inclusive workplace culture.
Baumgartner et al. (2020) analyzed the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on health disparities. The ACA is a federal law that aims to increase access to healthcare and reduce health disparities, particularly for low-income and minority populations. The study found that the ACA has had some positive impacts on health equity, such as increased insurance coverage and improved access to preventive care. However, the authors also note that the ACA has faced ongoing challenges, including legal challenges and efforts to repeal the law, which could have negative impacts on health equity.
In another study, Lum et al. (2019) found that the use of body-worn cameras was associated with a reduction in the use of force by police officers, particularly in interactions with individuals who were perceived as non-threatening. The authors suggest that the use of body-worn cameras can help to promote accountability and transparency in policing, which can, in turn, help to reduce racial disparities in the use of force.
Strategies for Addressing a Cultural Diversity Issue
In order to effectively address a problem involving cultural diversity, one needs to take a multipronged strategy that incorporates both individual and systemic strategies.
Cross-cultural education is one approach at the individual level because it equips people with the tools they need to better comprehend and negotiate cultural differences. Van Puffelen and van Oppen (2020) found that cross-cultural education can improve individuals’ attitudes and behaviors towards individuals from different cultural backgrounds.
To resolve the issues caused by cultural diversity on a systemic level, inclusion, and diversity policies can be put into effect. Such measures involve training and development programs that encourage diversity and cultural competence, as well as recruitment and retention efforts that seek to increase the representation of groups that have been historically marginalized. Nyseth (2021) discovered that diversity and inclusion policies could help bring previously underrepresented groups into the mainstream of the workforce.
Intergroup dialogue is another method for dealing with cultural diversity problems; it includes bringing together people of different cultural backgrounds to have candid and honest discussions about their lives and how they see the world. Tropp et al. (2022) discovered that intergroup dialogue could assist in promoting greater awareness and empathy between individuals of various cultural backgrounds, as well as reduce prejudice.
Factors Influencing Feelings and Reactions to Diversity Issues
Personal characteristics and experiences can significantly impact individuals’ feelings or reactions toward diversity issues. Research has found that an individual’s upbringing, socioeconomic status, education level, religious affiliation, and previous interactions with diverse groups can shape their perspective on diversity (Brown et al. (2018).
For example, an individual’s upbringing in a heterogenous or diverse environment can shape their attitudes towards diversity. Growing up in a diverse community or having exposure to diverse groups through travel or education can increase an individual’s empathy and understanding toward other cultures. In contrast, growing up in a homogenous community can lead to a lack of exposure to diverse groups and lead to biases or prejudices towards certain groups.
Additionally, an individual’s socioeconomic status can influence their attitudes towards diversity. Individuals from lower socioeconomic backgrounds may be more likely to view diversity negatively due to the perception that diversity threatens their own social and economic status. Conversely, individuals from higher socioeconomic backgrounds may view diversity positively due to their exposure to different cultures through travel or education.
Moreover, an individual’s education level and religious affiliation can influence their attitudes toward diversity. Individuals with higher levels of education may be more accepting of diversity due to their exposure to different perspectives and cultures. Similarly, individuals with a more liberal religious affiliation may be more accepting of diversity, while those with a conservative religious affiliation may view diversity negatively.
This assessment explored the significance of diversity and the challenges faced by marginalized groups. It highlighted the importance of inclusive laws and policies in promoting diversity and combating discrimination and discussed personal characteristics and experiences that influence feelings and reactions toward diversity issues, such as in my personal case involving Carter. Factors such as upbringing, socioeconomic status, education, and religious affiliation were identified as important considerations. The assessment also examined various strategies for addressing diversity issues, including increasing awareness, promoting education and training, and creating more inclusive policies and practices.
SOC FPX 2000 Assessment 1 Cultural Diversity and You
Baumgartner, J., Collins, S., Radley, D., & Hayes, S. (2020). How the affordable care act (ACA) has narrowed racial and ethnic disparities in insurance coverage and access to health care, 2013‐18. Health Services Research, 55(S1), 56–57. https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.13406
Brown, J., Jiménez, A. L., Sabanathan, D., Sekamanya, S., Hough, M., Sutton, J., Rodríguez, J., & García Coll, C. (2018). Factors related to attitudes toward diversity in Australia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 28(4), 475–493. https://doi.org/10.1080/10911359.2018.1428137
Cogburn, C. D. (2019). Culture, race, and health: implications for racial inequities and population health. The Milbank Quarterly, 97(3), 736–761. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0009.12411
Jaeger, B., & Sleegers, W. W. A. (2022). Racial disparities in the sharing economy: Evidence from more than 100,000 Airbnb hosts across 14 countries. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. https://doi.org/10.1086/722700
Lum, C., Stoltz, M., Koper, C. S., & Scherer, J. A. (2019). Research on body‐worn cameras. Criminology & Public Policy, 18(1), 93–118. https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-9133.12412
Miller, C. (2019). Affirmative action and its persistent effects: A new perspective. California Management Review, 61(3), 19–33. https://doi.org/10.1177/0008125619849443
Nyseth, T. (2021). Diversity policies as tools to increase participation and encounters. Nordic Journal of Migration Research, 11(4), 430–443. https://doi.org/10.33134/njmr.379
Smart Richman, L., & Leary, M. R. (2009). Reactions to discrimination, stigmatization, ostracism, and other forms of interpersonal rejection: A multimode model. Psychological Review, 116(2), 365–383. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015250
Tropp, L. R., White, F., Rucinski, C. L., & Tredoux, C. (2022). Intergroup contact and prejudice reduction: Prospects and challenges in changing youth attitudes. Review of General Psychology, 108926802110465. https://doi.org/10.1177/10892680211046517
van Puffelen, E., & van Oppen, M. A. A. U. (2020). Supporting cross-cultural university education. The 16th International CDIO Conference Proceedings. https://doi.org/10.18174/531990
Wright, J. E., & Headley, A. M. (2020). Police use of force interactions: Is race relevant or gender germane? The American Review of Public Administration, 50(8), 851–864. https://doi.org/10.1177/0275074020919908