The perception of globalization, which is the increasing integration and interdependence of different countries from one another in terms of economic, communication, and scientific aspects, leads one to address the concept of cultural diversity or multiculturalism. It has been defined that cultural diversity or multiculturalism encompasses the cultural differences that exist between individuals, including language, dress and traditions, one’s notion of morality and religion, the way one interacts with the environment, and the way societies organize themselves (“Cultural Diversity” 2008).
In the concept of cultural diversity, it can be recognized that two terms are equally important. The first concept is culture, which refers to the total way of life of individuals, and the unique characteristic that separates the human from the rest of the world of living things. It is said to be the primary means of human adaptation and the basis for the greater part of human thought and behavior. As such, human beings create, learn, and use culture to respond to the problems of their natural and social cultural environments, to control them, and even to change them (Naylor 1997, 3).
The other important term in the concept of cultural diversity is the concept of diversity, which refers to variety. Putting the two concepts together, cultural diversity refers to the existence of a variety of cultures in a particular group or area. In this sense, the difference of one’s culture with another is being recognized, as a result, emphasizing one’s individual unique characteristics in relation to one’s ethnic or racial origin.
However, the concept of cultural diversity does not only refer to one’s difference and individuality in terms of cultural difference. This is due to the fact that this concept also refers to personal cultural diversity, which refers to individual differences in terms of family background, values, personal experiences, prejudices and judgments, and socioeconomic class. In addressing personal cultural diversity, the cultural or family background of an individual must be evaluated and examined.
In terms of cultural or family background, personal cultural diversity can be seen in terms of differences in the place of birth of an individual, the culture and values of his or her town or city, the unique values that one has been able to acquire, and the negative and positive experiences that one was able to have. In this sense, personal cultural diversity can be seen through the influences of personal experiences that have been acquired and accumulated by the individual hrough his or her lifetime. Another thing to consider is the individual’s religious background or influences, as this would determine the values and practice of morality of the individual. This would also describe one’s behavior and personality in relationship to other individuals. In addition, the religious influence of an individual, along with his or her personal experiences determines his or her judgments and prejudices regarding a certain issue.
Another important factor is one’s socioeconomic class background, which refers to one’s income levels and lifestyle backgrounds. One’s level of income and lifestyle entitles one to develop different views and perceptions regarding different issues or topics. To sum up the points, it can be perceived that in order to understand the concept of personal cultural diversity, the different aspects of one’s lifestyle must be examined and determined in order to point out individual differences in a particular group or society.
This is because each individual has different genetic makeup, therefore, making one unique in terms of developing approaches in addressing the different problems in the environment. Works Cited “Cultural Diversity,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Available from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Cultural_diversity; Internet; accessed 15 February 2008. Naylor, Larry L. Cultural Diversity in the United States. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1997