Cultural diversity is a phenomenon whereby people from different cultures coexist within the same geographic location. Such people have culturally diverse standards, civilization, norms, customs, speech, beliefs, and experience. Diversity also encompasses other aspects that relate to race, caste, sexual orientation, and religion.
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The existence of different cultures in a given state has significant implications on its social, demographic, political, and economic aspects of growth. This paper focuses on the impact of cultural diversity on my functionality as a social worker who has specialized in counseling.
How Cultural Diversity and Social Attitudes and Assumptions Affect how I function as a Social Worker
The counseling station that is particularly in the United States presents a multicultural environment where the clientele come from diverse ethnic, racial, and/or religious backgrounds among others. The station receives people and other clients from different demographic locations, both locally and globally in need of counseling either about issues such as jobs, career choice, matrimony, and familial matters among others.
Similarly, colleagues in the counseling station come from different cultural backgrounds, although most of them are the white Americans. Therefore, cultural diversity is inevitable in the counseling facility. I interact with people on a daily basis having different issues that need counseling. Men and women, young and old, white and black, and married and unmarried visit the facility for counseling services. For example, I had to handle a case between two youngsters, but of different gender.
The two youth claimed to be friends who had differed in terms of which hotel to visit. The girl had suggested visiting a Christian-based restaurant while the boy was of a contrary opinion of visiting a hotel that upheld Islam foods. The scenario depicted religious segregation because the girl had stereotyped Muslims as dirty people. When they entered the counseling facility, the demanded services of a counselor who understood youths’ matters.
They said none was fit to handle them apart from me. Cultural diversity has promoted the availability of my wide knowledge base within the organization (Stahl, Maznevski, Voigt, and Johnsen 2). The fact that my workstation has workers from different cultural backgrounds proves among the best counseling facilities that have competent attendants.
Values, knowledge, and skills that are attributed to the diversity in our station have enabled me and my workmates solve career issues, educational matters, and marriage problems among others easier and comparatively faster than most of other facilities of its caliber. Particularly, diversity has helped me make the right decisions, especially where consultation is required.
However, despite the numerous advantages of being in a multiethnic and multicultural workplace, my identity as a white attracts many unanswered questions in terms of how different workers conduct their duties. The number of females who come for counseling is also high in relation to the number of males. In most cases, clients identify themselves with counselors of their own color, racial, religious, or cultural background.
Although I have the capacity to handle a victim of any gender, most of the female clients seek counseling sessions that are done by other females. For instance, there was a time when five female students openly said that my female colleague could only counsel them, as opposed to me, simply because I am a male. The issue of gender discrimination is quite apparent in this workstation. Besides, it is a common tendency for human beings to seek lenience from people whom they share common cultural characteristics.
Clients from the white community prefer my services. Similarly, those who come from the black community prefer consultation from counselors whom they share the same color. This scenario depicts color segregation. However, a funny instance happened when an old couple came for counseling after experiencing conflicts in their family. The disagreements were evident even as they arrived at the station when they could not agree on whom to seek counseling from.
The woman saw me as quite young and inexperienced in terms handling family matters. As a result, she convinced the man not to get my services because of my age. These events undermine my career as a professional counselor. In terms of service, I have the responsibility of handling any form of counseling regardless of gender, race, color, ethnicity, or religion. On the contrary, diversity demeans my practical ability to remain dutiful in the workstation.
How Cultural Diversity and Social Attitudes Affect how other People Define and Act towards Me
In the last quarter of last year, I attended more clients of the American origin, as opposed to those who came from any other origin or who had a skin color that differed from mine such as the black communities. I also realized that I had handled many young couples and workers as opposed to my old colleagues. My colleagues tell me about my conservative nature and its correlation with the behavior of people who come for my services. However, being conservative is the consequence of the American stereotyping.
These ascribed attributes drive many people, especially the aged, females, and/or from the black community, away from seeking my services. As a professional in the field, I find this situation belittling and demoralizing. It has also affected the attitude of other workers towards my reliability in task performance.
These reactions towards my duties result from age, gender, and color differences. Ely and Thomas (253) unveil that there exists a correlation between an individual’s cultural background and respect owed to that individual by members from other cultural origins.
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How Cultural Diversity and Social Attitudes Affect how I Define and Act towards other People
The existence of cultural diversity in the workstation and obliviousness of ethnic prejudice and discrimination in terms of gender, color, and age has led me to a forced change of attitude towards clients and employees of other backgrounds.
It is easier for me to identify aged victims and lead them to seek counseling from my old counterparts. It also becomes easier to ignore female clients who prefer other female counselors’ services to mine. Such directives are professionally ill mannered. However, being in a dilemma of being underrated or demeaned, I involuntarily refer them to counselors of their origin, color, or gender.
As a social worker in the counseling field, I would advocate for awareness and appreciation for the existence of culturally diverse communities within the counseling station. In addition, professional counselors should not only evaluate their cultural traits but also take time to learn and understand the strengths and weaknesses of cultures that are different from their own while at the same time addressing the issue of gender, color, and age disparities amongst its workers (Dichter, Hitchins, and Howse 5).
Lastly, it is my advocacy that all staff members in the workstation should respect and strictly adhere to the employee code of conduct that is presented to them by their employer.
Cultural diversity is a debatable topic that generates significant impacts on the nature of performance of any social set up. The manner in which cultural diversity influences the accomplishment of goals and objectives within a social setting depends upon the behavior of the individual elements. The harmonious interdependence between culturally different people leads to the accomplishment of a common social goal.
Dichter, Mark, Christopher Hitchins, and Matthew Howse. “The Equality Act 2010: What’s All the Fuss About?” Connecting Knowledge and People 33.1(2010): 5-8. Print.
Ely, Robin, and David Thomas. “Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcome.” Administrative Science Quarterly 46.2(2001): 229-73. Print.
Stahl, Gu¨nter, Martha Maznevski, Andreas Voigt, and Karsten Johnsen. Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta-analysis of research on multicultural work groups, 2014. Web.