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Personal history information on Social and Cultural Diversity
In the United States of America, there are still some elements of inequality and discrimination in several institutions. African Americans have been viewed as inferior to whites. There are separate schools for whites and blacks, which some exist even today (Tchibozo, 2013). During the early years of growth, the researcher had a hard life. The white children were highly discouraged from socializing with the blacks in any way. The children of the whites received very special attention and treatment from teachers, while the blacks or African American kids were harshly handled (Lum, 2011). The best and experienced teachers were always taken to the schools of the whites, while on the other hand, the black kids had the most inexperienced teachers. After classes, though, the white children could be found playing. The researcher admired their nice games but could not even draw near them. Being a child from the black family again, the researcher had to attend a learning institution specifically for the blacks.
The whites were believed to be the best baseball players. This was not true, and intending to disapprove them, the researcher one evening after college joined the whites in the field. Trying to control the ball, the white screamed at this young black man calling out ‘Niger’ Niger.’ When this black man touched the ball, this ball was cleaned before getting it back to the field (Webb, 2001). Africans were perceived as slaves and highly associated with dirt. Though facing tough racial discrimination, the researcher could get along very well with the whites and helped them where possible. The researcher though a black, supported Mitt Romney, a white during the campaigns leaving a fellow African campaigner the president Obama. The researcher has some personal biases towards the disabled, but as said earlier, these biases should not be portrayed openly to the clients.
The researcher appreciates that there are some personal biases that one may have towards another group of people. The researcher finds some of the practices of the Muslims a little strange. The Muslims are very religious, the fact that the researcher appreciates it. However, the fact that they insist on punishment for every mistake that one does is strange to the researcher. The belief in Holy Jihad is also strange to the researcher. There are other cultural practices and beliefs that these people practice that the researcher does not approve of. This may be because of the difference in religion. The researcher appreciates this fact and, therefore, always tries not to show this bias. The researcher also had a bias towards those with dreadlocks. To the researcher, there was a personal feeling that these people represent a group of individuals who are not able to groom themselves properly. To the researcher, these people belonged to the previous centuries. I have also managed to control this bias. I have come to appreciate every person irrespective of their tribe, religion, personal beliefs, or any other demographic factors. This has been of help in creating an environment where there are peace and understanding amongst all the members of society.
Concepts of Racism
According to Hardina (2007), a subtle racist is a person who observes racism in a manner that is it is difficult to be detected. This person acts so smartly in racial discrimination that only experts or very few people can notice. In the United States, although levels of discrimination have tremendously gone down, the nation still has some subtle racists. People of different ethnicity are likely to have significant differences in their perceptions and values because of several reasons. Levels of education may differ. The way a graduate views things and ideas is not the way a high school student will view them. The difference in the thinking and understanding ability of this to people may lead to conflicting ideas (Dhooper & Moore, 2001). Another reason that may lead to differences in the perception of ideas is religion. Though from the same ethnicity, people have different believes in their various religions. For example, Christians have a strong faith in Jesus as the son of God, while in the Islamic religion, Jesus is slightly recognized. Therefore, from a religious perspective, it may be difficult for a Muslim and a Christian to have similar values and perceptions. Apart from differing in educational levels and religion, people have different personal values and ideologies, which again may make them have significant differences in perception and values amongst themselves.
Hardina (2007) says that there are cases where people of the same ethnic group would have different views about certain virtues in society. The main reason for this may be because of personal beliefs and values. This scholar says that people do not have similar reasoning towards various issues within society. There are those who strongly cherish dreadlocks. They have the motivation that makes them appreciate this culture. To the researcher, this culture is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. This is a case where such practices may be viewed differently by people of the same ethnic group. Another major reason that can make people of the same ethnic group reason differently is the level of education. Education shapes the reasoning of individuals. According to Seidler (2010), education is one of the strongest opinion shapers in the world. Depending on the level of education an individual has, it is common to see a situation where individuals of the same ethnic group view things from different perspectives. Another main reason why people may reason differently is the social class of different individuals. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, human beings’ needs are always shaped by the position of an individual in the social class. The rich will always have different opinions from the poor on various issues, especially those that involve the class. This will create a scenario where people of the same ethnic group reason differently on different issues.
ACA and NAADAC Codes of Ethics
ACA and NAADAC code of ethics recommends good and harmonious coexistence with all people regardless of their varying cultures and backgrounds. ACA and NAADAC advocate for equality, giving guidelines on the acceptable good morals within the community. All forms of discrimination are highly discouraged in this code of ethics. There are a number of sources of potential counselor cultural bias within this practice. One of the leading sources is the difference in cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Different religious beliefs may also bring about bias. The researcher has learned about the importance of cultural sensitivity in treatment planning. The researcher has learned that it is important to know some of the sources of bias. Upon getting this knowledge, one would be in a position to formulate mechanisms of dealing with them in a way that would help eliminate the bias (Seidler, 2010). Communication style differs across all cultures. One of the main differences is the use of signs. Different signs mean different things in different communities. What a given sign may mean in one community may be the exact opposite of what it means in another community. While talking, some communities use a lot of emphasis than others, while other communities use more signs in their communication than others (Chryssochoou, 2004). This difference is always brought about by the difference in cultural practices within society.
It is coming clear from the discussions in this paper that every single individual has some form of bias that, in one way or another, may affect his perception towards a given group of people. This is not something one can avoid, especially in a world that has various cultures. The most important thing, however, is to find a way of dealing with such bias. One of the ways of dealing with this is to get informed about this cultural diversity. There are several resources that can be used to become more informed about cultural diversity (Hallinan & Jackson, 2008). One such resource is the internet. Through the internet, one can get to learn about the existence of various cultural groups, their practices, and the reasons behind these cultural practices. This way, one would come to appreciate different cultures. This will help minimize the level of bias that one may have towards individuals from different cultures.
Cultural sensitivity in treatment planning is very important. The world is diverse, and this diversity is manifested in the people themselves. Different ethnic groups, religious groups, or any other demographic groupings always have different beliefs and practices. Even members of the same family will always have varying opinions about issues within the family. This explains how varied society is. For this matter, the only important factor in society should be tolerance and sensitivity among members of the society. The society should appreciate the fact that we are different and unique in our reasoning. This helps in creating a community where people understand and appreciate others the way they are without any form of bias.
According to Seidler (2010), differential treatment methods exist in society due to the variety of cultures. According to Hardina (2007), it is true that even within the same ethnic group, variety will always exist. However, some common policies are always accepted within a particular society. Among Christians, there are common treatments that will help identify an individual as a Christian. Christians cherish the value of forgiveness. This is a treatment that may not be exhibited by a person. However, when one is to reason as a Christian, then forgiveness automatically comes as one tries to maintain the principles of Christianity. On the other hand, Buddhists have their treatments towards some societal values and practices that will demonstrate their religion. As Chryssochoou (2004) observes, different groups will have defining characteristics that will make them unique from others.
From this research, it is clear that bias is something that one should know how to control. Bias exists as different people have different ways of viewing life. This research demonstrates that for there to be harmony, there should be an understanding amongst members of society. People should appreciate the fact that this diversity is here to stay. The world is increasingly getting globalized. The world is fast turning into a global village. However, there are signs that even with this globalization, diversity still exists, and may not be eliminated any time soon. As such, the best approach would be to embrace one another despite this fact.
Addressing personal bias is one of the most important factors that one should devise a way of dealing with. According to Thyer (2010), dealing with personal bias needs a personalized decision from an individual. This may take several steps. The first step would be to identify biases that one has towards a given group of people. The next step is to determine why this bias exists. The next step is to understand why that particular group behaves the way they do that makes one develop the bias (Crisp, 2010). The next step would be to appreciate their culture, and this would automatically eliminate the bias. This knowledge will be of great importance to the researcher in the future as a counselor. The knowledge will help in dealing with all forms of bias within the practice, hence eliminate unjust judgments. As a counselor, I need to ensure that I treat everyone from their perspective. I know that it is important to avoid all forms of bias to be of use. Being judgmental may not help in this profession. To help an individual who needs counseling, one may need to develop a scenario where he or she is the one having the experience of the client. This will help determine how the client feels in the current circumstances. With this knowledge, one can easily develop a lasting solution. However, when one is biased, developing this feeling may not be easy. The counselor will address the issue at hand without having a proper understanding of the feeling of the client. Such solutions may not help because they shall not last. This is because the root cause shall go unaddressed.
This paper has had a great impact on the researcher’s understating of diversity. It is coming out clearly that bias exists, and the most important thing that one should consider is how to deal with it. One should be able to embrace the diversity in society to foster a peaceful society. As a counselor, it is clear from the discussion that one should be able to avoid any form of bias. The discussion demonstrates that in the current globalized world, people of a different culture are coming together as one large society. However, this interaction is doing very little in creating one culture and having people share different views in life. The society is highly diversified as people from different cultures come to stay as one community. It is important to embrace each other because even members of the same family always differ in their reasoning. It is only through this that society can be turned into a safe place where everyone shall feel valued.
Chryssochoou, X. (2004). Cultural diversity: Its social psychology. Oxford: Blackwell.
Crisp, R. J. (2010). The psychology of social and cultural diversity. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
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Dhooper, S. S., & Moore, S. E. (2001). Social work with culturally diverse people. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Hallinan, C., & Jackson, S. J. (2008). Social and cultural diversity in a sporting world. Bingley: Emerald.
Hardina, D. (2007). An empowering approach to managing social service organizations. New York: Springer.
Lum, D. (2011). Culturally competent practice: A framework for understanding diverse groups and justice issues. Belmont: Cole.
Seidler, V. J. (2010). Embodying identities: Culture, differences and social theory. Bristol: Policy Press.
Tchibozo, G. (2013). Cultural and social diversity and the transition from education to work. Dordrecht: Springer.
Thyer, B. A. (2010). Cultural diversity and social work practice. Springfield: Charles C Thomas Publisher.
Webb, N. B. (2001). Culturally diverse parent-child and family relationships: A guide for social workers and other practitioners. New York: Columbia University Press.