In her TED talk, Rebeca Hwang talks about diversity on a personal level. Hwang (2018) notes that as a Korean girl who was raised in Argentina, she always failed to fully fit in both of these countries’ cultures: she was too Korean for Argentinians and too Argentinian for Koreans. Thus, from her perspective, diversity is a mix of different cultural, ethnic, linguistic, professional, and other identities in every individual. At the same time, diversity is regarded in the textbook from a traditional, macro-environmental, and statistical perspective: a percentage and combination of people from various multicultural backgrounds within a community.
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When Hwang (2018) realized that she could not be fully accepted as an Argentinian or a Korean, she decided to stop trying to fit in and conform with others’ expectations but instead embraced distinct aspects of her personality. In this way, Hwang (2018) reinvented herself by acknowledging her uniqueness. In other words, she stopped seeing diverse elements of her identity as incompatible and conflicting but brought them together to create a distinctive self with an original worldview and approach to life.
It is valid to presume that without appreciating diversity in the outer world, one cannot fully appreciate and embrace diversity within. For instance, if a person, for example, a second-generation Asian-American immigrant, is hostile for some reason to the culture of his origin country, an ethnic aspect of his or her identity will become a source of perpetual inner conflict. At the same time, respect for the family’s cultural heritage may enrich that person by allowing him or her to expand his own perspectives and worldviews. In the same way, respect for distinct multicultural features of other population groups may help one to learn something from them and use this knowledge to form a unique, cosmopolitan self-identity.
Hwang, R. (2018). The power of diversity within yourself [Video file]. Web.