Cultural Diversity

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Introduction

Cultural diversity refers to the range of different people we have in this universe. Some scientists argue that just as biodiversity is important to the survival of all animals in the food chain, so is biodiversity. It invokes all areas of our social activities, from employment, entertainment, educational policy, reaching into the health policies we partake of (Bledsoe, 2010 23).

Western countries are not devoid of racial profiling, in fact, most western civilizations are often seen in light of subjective criticism for not recognizing diversity of its people in its true sense as evident in crusades for diversity (Harvey, 2008 49).

Certainly looking at history, we can appreciate the importance of cultural diversity. The inventions of the early times from various social settings located in different places all over the world, give a general view of the good of several cultures brought together to form today’s great nations.

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China’s invention of the compass put the western civilization in touch with other continents via navigation. We cannot fail to appreciate the invention of numbering system as discovered by the Arabs, in Arabic numerals. Spanish civilization also contributed their Mediterranean knowledge and astronomy, medical, optics and geometrical knowledge to the western world, Europe to be precise (Harvey, 2008 48).

Managing diversity

We can define diversity management as organizational management procedures that help organizations respond to increasing diversity in the economic field (Brownwyn, 2009 62).

We can also define it as the intentional actions of an organization to try and create an inclusion of personnel from various backgrounds into the various organizational structures, through policies and programs that are purposeful in harmonizing the organization.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E. E. O. C.)

The EEOC is an agency that concerns itself with the task of correcting wrongful discrimination from employers who seek to undermine the rights of individuals in the employment position. EEOC operates under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It also works under the Age Discrimination mandate. A few other Acts are covered by the agency. The EEOC files suits against employees for discrimination in place of an employee. It also adjudicates federal agencies’ discrimination claims.

A broadcasting company called KOHK, with its parent company, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, was recently involved in a sex and race discrimination claim against a female staff employee, Phyllis Williams. Phyllis had worked for the company since 1996, and until August 2007, she had been subjected to unequal terms and employment conditions.

The company had paid her less than her other equally qualified male counterparts. She signed an employee contract for higher pay in August 2007, but the company had offered the same contracts to other reporters for the same channel, Fox 25.

The suit was filled by EEOC after the company’s councilors had tried to reach a pre-litigation settlement. Miss Williams went on to pursue a retaliation claim under the civil rights order. This would protect her from retaliation and discrimination from KOKH.

The broadcasting company conceded to a settlement as consideration for the latter, and a $45,000 payment for discrimination. The managers from this company have since taken all measures to prevent other suits from being filled against them. It taught them to mind the employees’ right to work in an environment that is free of race and sex discrimination (EEOC, 2011).

Different opinions held by the press release in comparison to the EEOC

There is little difference in the press release as compared to the version released in the news script. Notable difference is only present in the EEOC definitions of sex discrimination and race discrimination. The definitions from the EEOC delve deeper into the sense of the word discrimination, and broadly classifies the different modes of discrimination at the workplace (EEOC, 2011).

The lawsuit between Phyllis Williams and KOKH promotes social change when it comes to work-related areas. Most other companies must have reviewed their employee privileges when the suit was aired about a week or two ago. No company would delay such a move knowing fully well how much credibility and money it stands to loose in a lawsuit.

The American population is comprised of a great number of whites than most other races, and looking at the history of the discrimination policy, we can see that strategies have been built to prevent such prejudicial situations from cropping up in the work environment. Being a manager involves implementing these steps and policies proposed by research institutions.

Understanding and management diversity

Research shows that in the US, 38% of the African-American population felt that they were still being discriminated for their race, while 76% of the White population felt that the numbers were not reflecting the truth of the situation; they thought that racial discrimination had dropped in the last half of the last century.

Research also indicates that 46% of the African-American population thought the relationship between the two groups was improving. This can compare to a 59% White population that seems to agree with the opinion. 80% of the African-American populations believe that interracial relationships were good and acceptable to them, as did 70 % of the White population.

Other figures in the report suggested that 57% of the White population wanted to be in interracial relationships with a higher figure of 78% of the African-American population having the same views.

In this sense, it is ironical why the African-American population felt that discrimination was still prevalent in society, but according to Harvey (2008 49), it’s not the utterances and derogatory remarks, as Whites think, but according to African-Americans, the institutional policies and practices/privileges at question. That is to say, they feel it is the prejudice they feel directed to them based on their race (Harvey, 2008 46-47).

Racial disparities at the work place

The Harvey (2008 50-51) suggests that 61% of whites surveyed felt they had equal job opportunities with the African-Americans while only a contrasting 12% of African Americans felt they had equal chances as the Whites. The researchers concluded that while the African Americans could hardly get a chance to be interviewed, the white applicants had a batter chance at being hired in favor of their race.

In health care

Research indicates that Whites get higher quality service at the medical centers in the US for the same insurance policy as compared to the African-Americans. It also shows that doctors tend to have the opinion that African-American patients are not as intelligent and are likely to neglect medical advice.

Looking at law enforcement, we realize that the criminal justice system also applies racial profiling as a pre-judicial strategy in determining the capacity of suspects to fit the criminal profile. Statistics indicate that every year, at least 90% of African Americans who get their vehicles stopped by police are not arrested, meaning that the probability that an African-American driver whose car has been stopped is actually guilty of committing a crime lies at 10% (Harvey, 2008 52).

The American government has embarked on an anti-discriminatory multiracial design whose essence leaves considerable room for choice regarding which country one prefers to have an allegiance to, or whom the person worships so long as they remain loyal to America.

References

Bledsoe, M. T. (2010). Journal of Diversity Management. Diversity Management: Seeking Validation , 5, 23. Print

Brownwyn W., P. S. (2009). Managing Diversity: A Twenty-First Century Agenda. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations , 61-76. Print

EEOC. (2011). Sex-Based Discrimination. Retrieved March 24, 2011, from US. Equal Employment Oportunity Commission: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sex.cfm

EEOC. (2011, March 3). Channel 25 Settles EEOC Race And Sex Bias Suit. Retrieved March 24, 2011, from US. Equal Employment Oprotunity Commission: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/3-3-11a.cfm

Harvey P., J. Allard. (2008). Understanding and Managemet Diversity (4 ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Print

Categories: Management

In turning these symbols into commodities for purchase,

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In terms of cultural diversity, and the individuals role in a culture, these global forces are reshuffling previously static cultures and are assimilating ‘the similar’ and distancing ‘the different’. This means that the existence of the ‘global village’ while allowing for greater exposure to varying cultural philosophies, cannot avoid the commonly held belief that if you are not with me, you are against me; if you are not right like me, then you must be wrong.

This polar view on the world, which logically should be crumbling due to an acceptance of the ‘global village’, still permeates the majority’s thinking. This can only be attributed to the belief that Castells proposes: that the lack of cultural understanding and celebration is due to the ‘defensive reaction’ to the assimilation of thought in the ‘global village’.

As the market seeks to create one consumer culture by making commodities attractive to all cultural sects through various marketing means, cultures resist this change by polarising sentiment either for or against various beliefs and ethoses. This creates, for example, religious fundamentalism, (Castells, 1997) and this is in direct opposition to the idea of celebrating cultural diversity and perhaps is the way in which we can identify a subconscious recognition of the illusion of freedom.

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This process of globalisation, of the creation of global forces, which permeate cultures regardless of their differences, does allow us apparent freedom to use our powers of agency to determine identities, both personal and social. We do this through the use of symbols as we identify similarity and difference in those around us (Jenkins, 1996). This freedom, as previously stated, is merely an illusion, as the individual has no freedom to choose from outside of these global forces.

The number of options available to chose from have never been this great, yet the control of the appearance or these choices, and the practise of turning these symbols into commodities for purchase, simply places the greater control of our identities into the hands of the capitalist market. Thus the illusion that we hold the power, while our agency is indeed limited to the options the ‘global village’ would have us to choose from. In the content of this essay, the true nature of the ‘global village’ has been engaged with.

The illusion it has created for the individual to feel in control of the construction of an identity has been identified in terms of the capitalist market and the consumer culture it has produced. Explanations have been offered as to the existence of this illusion and the effectiveness of global forces in controlling it. The connection between this individual and cultural freedom and diversity has also been examined in terms of this illusion. The suggestion then exists for the ‘global village’: man is born in chains, yet everywhere he believes himself to be free.

Categories: Marketing

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