Explore BrainMass

Culture and Diversity

Cultural diversity is the quality of diversity within a specific geographical location. In the global context, cultural diversity may refer to the variety of societies and cultures within the world. All these cultures have their own histories and have emerged separately, while being shaped by different factors in the process. Not only are there cultural differences, such as tradition, language, morals but there are also societal differences, such as the way they organize themselves. Thus, culture and diversity are two important concepts in the study of international development.

What is culture?

Culture is understood as a group or community which shares common experiences that shape the way its members understand the world. This includes groups that we are born into, such as race, national origin, gender, class, or religon. It is also possible to include a group we join or become a part of.¹ It is, thus, possible to acquire a new culture by moving to a new country or region, by changing your economic status, or by becoming disables. One can belong to many cultures at once.¹

Culture influences peoples' views, values, humor, hopes, loyalties, worries, and fears. When working with other people and building relationships with them, it is important to consider and understand their cultures. It is also vital to acknowledge how our cultures not only differ us, but connect us as human beings.¹

In building communities, it is important to understand culture¹:

  • To build communities that are powerful enough to attain significant change, large numbers of people working together is necessary. Cultural groups joining forces will lead to more effective goal reaching, as all perspectives will be taken into consideration;
  • Each cultural group has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from;
  • Understanding cultures will help us overcome and prevent racial and ethnic division;
  • People from different cultures have to be included in decision-making processes in order for programs or policies to be effective;
  • An appreciation of culture leads to equity within society.

What is diversity?

Some people understand diversity as the four employment equity groups: people who are visible minorities, women in non-traditional or management roles, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal peoples.² Diversity is also defined by the following categories: race or color, religion or creed, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, national or ethnic origin, ancestry or place of birth, age, depdendence on drugs or alcohol, and source of income.²

Cultural diversity

With the rise of globalization over the past few decades, the issue of cultural diversity has been of great focus, as the process of globalization is serving somewhat as a destructive agent towards cultural diversity. With the improvements in telecommunications, transportation as well as accessibility to the internet, there has been an increase in the process of international integration, where cultures are interchanging views to make a “global culture.” At the same time, past cultures are slowly fading – this can be seen by the disappearances of many languages. To respond to such a phenomenon, there are movements to defend cultural diversity, such as the promotion of actions in favor of cultural minorities.

Thus, it can be seen that studying culture and diversity is extremely important in the context of international development, as it can help in global issues such as human rights.



Image sources:

1. Flickr

2. Flickr


1. Community Tool Box. Understanding Culture and Diversity in Building Communities. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from

2. Martinson, Jeanne. Diversity Dialogue. What is diversity? Retrieved May 6, 2014, from

Doing business in Saudi Arabia

As a senior manager in a medium-sized but highly profitable equipment manufacturing organization, I and other senior leaders have decided to partner with another company on several projects of mutual interest. My organization has the financial strength and market strength to join the partnership, and I have negotiated a tentativ

Cultural Exploration: Fiesta San Juan

Keeping in theme with the topic of Spain's celebrations, research one celebration in Spain that you have never heard about. Find out the following information: What is the celebration/festival? What is the origin and reason for the celebration/festival? Who participates? Where does it take place?? How is this festival cele

Review of Frida Kahlo's Art

Read and review the art of Frida Kahlo. What do you think inspires Frida? Do you think she is a strong or weak person and why? Comment on one of her pieces of artwork and talk about your reactions (likes/dislikes) after viewing and reading about it.

Clearing Up Terminology

It is important to know how to correctly refer to others. The best practice is to avoid labeling people, but if it is necessary, it is best to use a general term like Hispanic or Latino, Asian, or European. But even these terms are not preferred by all who fit the definition. So if you are interested in somebody's heritage, as

Motivation: International Business

This unit is about motivating and leading, but there are dramatic differences and conflicts in how to motivate in different countries. How can a manager motivate people using the needs hierarchy in the international context? What are the conflicting motivational techniques in Western-Russian joint ventures?

Important Factors in Cultural Assimilation

You have new coworkers at your office name Jorge who is from Central America. He is unfamiliar with American customs and claims that he is undergoing culture shock and needs your help with the adjustment. In 2 pages, define assimilation and present the pros and cons of Jorge assimilating fully into U.S. culture. In addition, exp

Training and Development for Adults in Multicultural Environments

TOPIC: "When designing and conducting training for adults in a multinational or multicultural environment, why is it important to know adult learning theories and principles? What do trainers need to know about how adults learn, why is it so important, and in what ways should that understanding guide the trainers when building t

The Workplace Difficulties of Women

Develop a presentation or information paper to other managers regarding the experience of women in the workplace. The document may be in memo, PowerPoint or paper form. There is no word count requirement. Just requesting an outline for this document Include the following: The complexities of women's experiences in the work

Tourism in Korea - In Depth Country Review

Choose a country that you have not lived in, nor spent more than a week in. Find at least three book sources and at least seven sources in all and begin reading about the culture of this country. You may choose a specific ethnic group in the country or discuss the country as a whole. Research what a person would need to know

Cultural Communications

Choose a movie that you have not previously seen from the following list: Mi Familia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I Am Sam, or Amistad. Watch the movie with this question in mind: What do people say and do that communicates in ways different from the way I do? Answer the questions with supporting details, quotes, and paraphrased s

Deaf, whiteness and Japanese American culture and communication

Do an Internet search for timely and relevant journal articles related to deaf culture. Identify aspects of the culture that are surprising to you or that you did not know. Reflect on what you can learn from or about people who think differently than you because of their histories. Next, do an Internet search on "whiteness" and

Personal Worldview and Its Effect on Intercultural Communication

Christian Worldview Where did we come from? (and why are we here?) What is wrong with the world? How can we fix it? In the second section, thoughtfully reflect on how you think your worldview has, does, or may affect your intercultural communication by considering the following: Describe ethnocentrism. How has this be

Humnan Rights Violations in Contemporary World Culture

What is your viewpoint on the human rights violation by MNCs (Multinational Companies)? How can they be made accountable for their transgressions? Human right violation can range from, sex trafficking, migration, child labor etc... I would like to focus my point on something that is widely known today and continues in countri

Study of Local Demographics for Cultural Differences

Research other timely sites that give thorough demographic or census information. Choose an area that interests you, maybe the city (Indianapolis, Indiana) or zip code where you live, and research the demographics of the area using relevant and timely sources. Identify the varieties of national heritage, language spoken at ho

Contemporary culture in Kenya

Imagine you are a Kenyan student living in the present day. Start off by describing yourself and the state of your family. Explain where you reside in Kenya. Describe a typical day in your life and the challenges you face due to the unique geographical and political situation in your city or town. To create a picture of your rou

100 True/False/Multiple Choice Questions on International Culture

Questions 1 - 41 are True/False 1. Ethnocentric management does not account for cultural differences in the work force. 2. International business is increasing in the United States. 3. Cultural synergy takes place when a larger culture breaks apart to form two or more separate cultures. 4. A nuclear family consists o

Response to Deepak's Globalization, Imperialism, and Regulation

This is a short essay response to the ideas presented by Deepak Lal in "Globalization, Imperialism, and Regulation". It provides an overview of Lal's assertions and the grounds on which to challenge these. Key ideas include globalization as a purely economic occurrence, imperialism, deregulation, American hegemony, and what Lal

Culture and International Management

Culture is an important factor to consider in the realm of international management. The different perspectives from various cultures are what make international business an emerging ideology. Individuals from various perspectives are likely to prepare or recite different definitions for the term culture. With that in mind, defi

Cultural values and orientation

Values are tied to culture, they do not operate in isolation. Values are critical, primarily because they compel our actions. In this regard, it is necessary for us to examine the concept of values within the context of culture. To do this, I propose the studying and understanding of intercultural communication. One of the

Coping with culture shock in a globalized world

Culture shock is a very pertinent issue in our world today, especially in light of the phenomenon of globalization. As a result we must address this issue as a very real one, and learn about strategies to cope with it. Culture shock comes from living or working for an extended period of time in situations that are ambiguous, whe

System Modification for Japan

1. Analyze and explain how business practices differ among cultures. 2 .Analyze how negotiators can understand the elements of communication and negotiation of their own cultures. 3. Examine and explain the steps negotiators can take to ease the tensions between cultures.

Training a Diverse Group

Suppose you are designing a training program for a group of 40 employees. These employees come from a wide range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds and have different educational and experience backgrounds relative to the content area of the training. What training design features would you use to address these constraints?

Autocratic and Democratic Leaders

Name the U.S. leadership styles and explain each of them. Americans appreciate two kinds of leaders that generally fall into one or both styles of leadership: autocratic versus democratic. What are the traits of an autocratic leader versus a democratic leader, and is one type of leadership better than the other? (Answer prov

Culturally Contingent Leadership Behaviours and Attributes

What are the culturally contingent leadership behaviors and attributes? What are the positive leadership behaviors and traits that are universally accepted that facilitate leadership effectiveness? What are the negative leadership behaviors and traits that are universally accepted that create impediments to leadership effectiven

International Management

What are the approaches international managers seek to understand when instituting change in the international arena?

Germany Policy Briefing on a Security Concern

This memo should be on a specific security concern within Germany, pick either: religion/ migration/ trafficking in weapons and/or people/ terrorism. You will need to detail 1) the issue, 2) the history/ current status and future of the issue, and 3) possible effects and solutions. Please keep in mind that I'm look

Conflict Resolution for Contrasting Cultures: Japanese vs American managers

An American sales manager of a large Japanese manufacturing firm in the United States sold a multimillion-dollar order to an American customer. The order was to be filled by headquarters in Tokyo. The customer requested some changes to the product's standard specifications and a specified deadline for delivery. Because the fi