Diversity & Multiculturalism
Ethics and culture are principles that help us determine how to live our lives. Inter-Cultural skills help us to live and work with others who have different cultural backgrounds. Due to increasing cultural diversity we experience today, we need these skills as we face increasingly intercultural challenges daily. Adjustments do not come easily and it requires us to move in and out of cultural exchanges in order to meet the expectations of each individual we interact with.
When one reflects on culture and how constant it is exchanged between one another, it is clear that intercultural skills are relevant to everyone’s daily routine. Intercultural frameworks have two main characteristics. First, our mindsets or schemas constantly change the mental representations of the many experiences we encounter and Secondly, these exchanges affect our personal identities. This in turn helps us bind to social groups. Both developmental and identity factors help us establish common ground with others.
The reading highlights the ethical perspective Pluralism, “rejecting ideals of impartiality” (Hinman 41). Pluralists consider themselves to be open-minded and suggest that by passing judgments on one another this encourages us to listen to each other and is beneficial throughout social exchanges. They often position themselves to be between absolutists and relativists, applying principles of understanding, standing up against evil, fallibility and tolerance.
Ethical absolutists on the other hand maintain that there is a single standard and its usually their own. Absolutists do not typically consider themselves as part of the problem or that they might have contributed to a particular situation. Pluralists, on the other hand, are interested in resolving situation that and are willing to examine ways in which their own actions inadvertently may have contributed to the conflict. They maintain that all cultures and individuals are to be judged usually coinciding with their own personal beliefs. One can infer that they are more likely to be duty based in their approach to ethics or apply Deontological principles.
Ethical relativists however disagree with being judged. Relativists consider each culture is “right unto it self” (Hinman 49) and would not condone practices such as clitoridectomy as we saw in the reading. Despite the mutilation and torture of young women, they would consider it morally appropriate excluding there own cultural practices. A significant difference between these ethical perspectives is that relativism rejects any attempts of forcing moral values onto others. They also believe that a multicultural and diverse society would be increasingly tolerant and morally good, as people learn from each other. This perspective is all too common today with those who
appose affirmative action and acknowledging the differences in opportunities amongst cultural groups.
Since the inauguration of President Trump in 2016, the United States has increasingly limited the multicultural perspective mentioned previously. Quite the opposite in fact, the president himself propagating hatred towards minorities calling us rapists, and murders attempting to fuel his base. Since taking office a dramatic increase in hate crimes against minorities in particular, Mexicans, Jews, Muslim and African Americans.
Prejudice and hatred against members of different cultures are increasingly dividing this country and it’s for those same reasons affirmative action is extremely important to minorities collectively. The Michigan university case highlights the difficulties minorities in particular face while trying to become members of white dominated and controlled institutions that continue to segregate rather than integrate one another.
Affirmative action has been responsible for helping members of society that have experienced disadvantages and discrimination based on race and or social economic status. There is much to be gained by a diversity of experiences within academic settings.
Diversity comes in many forms including but not limited to someone’s gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age and culture. All of these characteristics contribute towards an individual and there unique experience of the world. We need new ideas, and ways to apply them in order to stimulate and inspire each other. Even as we continue to face social intolerance, discrimination, and violence, we must continue to try and celebrate of our differences.