Friday, March 18, 2016

Perspectives on Diversity and Culture

This week I had to ask 3 family/friends what their definition of culture and diversity were. At least one person had to be culturally different from me (a different gender, race, class, religion, abilities, age, etc.). Of the 3 people, 2 are 10 years younger than me (1 my age), 2 are a different gender (1 my gender), and 2 grew up in different places than I did (1 grew up 20 minutes from me).

One person defined culture as the set of norms, values, and principles held by the majority, which would be the dominant culture. This is really similar to what my definition of culture was before this class began too, but I'm now starting to realize that culture exists outside that of the dominant culture too. Although dominant culture exists, and can be a problem at times, it is not the only type of culture that exists. Just because one set of ideas and values is held by the majority, does not negate the fact that others exist too.

Another part of culture that was mentioned was shared interests. Again this would have been in my first definition of culture, because I've always viewed culture as language, music, food, customs, etc. But as I've learned so far, that's really just the tip of the iceberg of culture, where there is more deep underneath that isn't initially observed.

A definition of diversity someone mentioned was "the amount of deviations of cultural understandings within society". I just love this definition, mostly because it puts diversity away from the individual and back on the society as a whole.

Family diversity wasn't mentioned or discussed at all.

I think it's interesting to take a look at other people's ideas and thoughts on culture and diversity because it gives us the framework of ultimately how people view each other and how they interact with each other.


  1. Danielle, as you said, it is always interesting to read and learn how others express about culture and diversity. As you mentioned about dominant culture, I couldn't help but think about one of this week's readings. I don't remember if it was the Smidt book or the Antibias one, but it said that dominant culture does not necessarily mean a culture that is held by the majority. Rather, the dominant culture is held by the people in power within a society.

    I also loved the definition of diversity provided by one of the people you interviewed. It is short, understandable and straight to the point.

    Thanks for your post! :)

  2. Like you my definition of culture has morphed since we began this course. It has been such an eye opener, especially when considering all the different families I serve. Thank you for sharing.