Cultural Diversity Assignment Essay
Religion is an important value in Appalachian culture. Loyal Jones stresses the fact that religion can often become “fatalistic. ” What did he mean by this? How has this attitude come to affect the Appalachian culture in a negative way? Religion, according to Loyal Jones, is one of the ten common values common to Appalachians. Religiosity is often manifested by Appalachians in their values and in the meanings which they regard life. It differs from the orthodox practices of most religions such as attending certain rituals or going on worship days.
Sometimes however, they come to view their religion as being too fatalistic. The downside for such is that people then tend to attribute events (often aversive ones) to factors which they believe are beyond their control but in reality, are not. What might have been avoided incidents are often accepted as the way they are. Fatalism however does not only involve disadvantages. For instance, fatalism eases up the burdens that most Appalachian people have to deal with in their everyday life. By thinking about their conditions in terms of fate and destiny, these people come accept their situations more willingly.
Thus, it is important that people from Appalachia find where their locus of control (a “construct which is designed to evaluate a person’s perceived control over his or her behavior” (Locus of Control)) lies. While it is helpful to be fatalistic at times, it is also important that one takes an active part in controlling his or her future. 2. In Morocco, there are only two genders, but the two are very distinct. How do the concepts of private space and public space relate to gender? What is the purpose of the HIJAB AND THE DJELLABA?
How do these relate to the concept of cultural relativity? In Morocco, public and private spaces relate to the issue of gender in that these concepts still reflect much modern Moroccan society’s interactions. Although gender divisions are slowly becoming fluid in that men and women can interact publicly; there are still domains in which a particular sex is not allowed to enter or participate in. For instance, certain professions are restricted to males (Women in Morocco). The hijab is worn by Muslim women based on religious doctrines (Parker, 1996) in order to achieve certain purposes.
For instance, it is seen as a means to protect women from the male gaze (Parker, 1996). The djellaba on the other hand is worn by men (Djellaba). The primary purpose of the two articles of clothing is to provide a distinction between the sexes. These articles thus address cultural relativity in that they come to stand for greater things (i. e. gender) when they are viewed in a certain cultural context. 3. Asian Americans are often referred to as the “model minority. ” What does this mean? Why do some Asians find problems with this concept?
Asian Americans are often referred to as the model minority because most of them eventually excel in their education as well as in their chosen careers although they were initially “penniless and homeless” when they come to America. Although the stereotype is different from the Black and Mexican stereotype in that it is generally positive; some Asian Americans who haven’t accomplished the said stereotypical connotations feel that they are unduly compared to those who have (Banerji, 2007). As in the case of any stereotype, the dangers of overgeneralization should always be avoided.
4. What is the significance of the video titled, “Two towns of Jasper? ” Why was it important to use 2 film crews in telling the film’s story? What would you hope people take away from viewing this film? The film is significant in that it addressed the issue that supremacist attitudes do and still exist in American society, at least until the late 90s. Almost eight years after the incident involving Rodney King and the LAPD, the truth as to the “abolition” of racial practices was again put into question with the case of James Byrd Jr.
The film in essence, placed emphasis on the need to evaluate whether people still viewed other individuals based on their skin color. The directors of the film, Whitney Dow and Marco Williams employed two film crews in the movie in order to elicit real and untainted responses from the residents of Jasper. Filming was structured in such a way that a white crew filmed white residents and a black crew filmed black residents (Two Towns of Jasper). It was only after the movie was released did the residents know that their responses would be integrated into a single project.
I believe that the film hopes to raise people’s awareness to the fact that racial views are still prevalent in American society. The use of the aforementioned filming technique hoped to provide a venue in which the audience could critically think about an important issue that has far reaching implications. 5. How would you respond to the following statement: “Talking about diversity only makes problems worse? ” People who believe that talking about diversity only makes problems worse definitely undermine the value of dialogue as a means to reach a compromise or agreement.
Many think that diversity is a touchy subject since various issues are involved and I believe that they do have valid reasons for thinking that way. What I do not agree with however is their belief that sensitive topics should not be talked about and kept private. In my opinion, talking about diversity lessens a person’s “aversion” towards the issue. But talking about it isn’t the most crucial part of the discussion. There are certain considerations which merit considerable attention.
For instance a lot of problems arise when people come to the discussion bringing with them strongly – held convictions as well as prejudices against certain individuals or groups of people. The end result is that more problems arise than are solved. In general, I think that discussions on cultural diversity could not only prove to be important in removing inhibitions on the issue but could prove to be instrumental in addressing a lot of concerns that are crucial to the improvement of a lot of lives, especially of those who are involved.
6. Describe your biggest diversity challenges so far in your life as well as what possible challenges you may face in your professional (Human Services/Education) life. What actions are you taking or will you take to deal with these situations? Living in a country in which a lot of races coexist, I believe that the biggest challenge for me lies on the fact that I am exposed to different people coming from different backgrounds. For instance, the school provides a venue for me to meet new friends.
Most of them however come from different backgrounds and hold on to beliefs that are often dissimilar from what I believe. Challenges in my professional life may include the same considerations as mentioned above. I think venturing into any career requires one to be open minded as well as mindful of the “idiosyncrasy” which may exist among individuals and cultures. Taking the time to learn about another culture helps one to accept the fact that differences do exist among us culturally and that we could coexist in peace and mutual respect if only we go beyond our cultural barriers.
References Banerji, S. (2007). UCLA Expert Challenges The Asian – American “Model Minority” Assumption. Retrieved on 27 November 2007 at http://www. diverseeducation. com/artman/publish/article_7071. shtml Jones, L. (2006). The Proud Appalachian. Retrieved on 27 November 2007 at http://www1. epinions. com/content_4639989892 Locus of Control. (n. d. ). The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary. Retrieved on 27 November 2007, from Dictionary. com website: http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/locus of control Two Towns of Jasper.
(2002). Retrieved on 27 November 2007 at http://www. pbs. org/pov/pov2002/twotownsofjasper/index. html Women in Morocco. (2007). Moroccan Culture Series. Retrieved on 27 November 2007 at http://french. about. com/library/travel/bl-ma-women. htm Parker, K. (1996). Women, Islam and Hijab. Retrieved on 27 November 2007 at http://www. english. emory. edu/Bahri/Veil. html Djellaba. (n. d. ). Dictionary. com Unabridged (v 1. 1). Retrieved November 27, 2007, from Dictionary. com website: http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/djellaba
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