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Cultural Diversity Paper

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Cultural Diversity
Dominique Mayfield
Eth 120
March 23, 2015
Heather Huber

Cultural Diversity Diversity in the United States has continued to change throughout the years. The history of the United States along with immigration of different people from around the world has created a very diverse nation. Diversity is not only about different races or ethnicities but it also includes the disabled and people with different sexual orientations. With so many different races and cultural backgrounds it is important to learn and understand cultural diversity. By learning and understanding diversity it will result in a more well-rounded individuals and a nation that can eliminate prejudice and discrimination.
What information about diversity in the United States has helped you better understand or relate to others in ways that you may not have in the past? Have you learned something new about your own racial, ethnic, or cultural history? I have learned a lot about diversity that will help me to better understand and relate to others. I was very surprised at how little I knew about the cultures of the other people around me. Many of the minority groups in the Unites States have had to overcome prejudice and discrimination. I have always thought that African Americans were the only minority group that suffered and experienced discrimination. In American History classes in the past slavery is something that has been discussed because of the role it played in The Civil War. To hear that almost every minority group has experienced some kind of discrimination made me feel like I could relate to them more because they could also relate to me. In addition to learning new information about other minority groups I also learned more about minority group. I learned that there is still a significant gap in the amount of African Americans that complete a secondary education versus White Americans (Schaefer, 2012).
Trends in immigration will continue to shape the demographics of the United States. What will the U.S. population look like in the year 2050? Why do you think so? As immigration in the United States continue it is especially important to understand diversity because the nation will only become more diverse. I think that by the year 2050 The U.S population will be more equal and White Americans will no longer be the majority. I believe there will also be more Americans that are mixed raced. I think this will happen because majority and ethnic groups continue to grow more tolerant of each other. Because of this tolerance we will have a more mixed and diverse population.
What challenges does the United States face due to the diversity of its people? As the United states continue to become more diverse it will still have challenges to overcome. I think one of the biggest issues will be language barriers. English has always been the main language in the United States but as more and more people who speak different languages this may have to change. I think that it would be beneficial if we work towards making the United States a more bilingual country. Another challenge that I think America may face is resentment from the majority group as the population shifts and they are no longer the majority.

What are the benefits of such a diverse society? There are a lot of benefits to having such a diverse nation. We have better advantages in the workforce and also our industrial and creative markets because we gain the skills and ideas from people with all different backgrounds. We also have the benefit of being able to blend cultures and experience different foods and traditions.
How can we foster a climate of acceptance and cultural pluralism in the United States? I think that we can foster a climate of acceptance and cultural pluralism by not only trying to be more accepting of other cultures but also by engaging and interacting with people from these different cultures. I believe that it is easy to say that you are accepting of someone who is different than you but I think we must go a step further by interacting with others that are different from ourselves. I think that this will raise our tolerance and acceptance of others because we will understand them better because we will have learned firsthand.
In what ways does the media perpetuate stereotyping and prejudice? Provide examples to support your assertion. The media perpetuates stereotyping and prejudice by portraying stereotypes and always bringing up race in stories they report in the news. Padgett (n.d.), “Because stereotypes often contain a "kernel of truth" (they may be characteristic of some or many members of a group) they are widely accepted as the truth”(para. 4). For example there is a large stereotype that young African American men are thugs. When there is a story reported saying an African American youth were arrested for fighting instead of a young male was arrested for fighting it feeds into that negative stereotype.
In what ways does the media help foster appreciation for diversity? Provide examples to support your assertion? The media helps foster appreciation for diversity by showing more examples of unity in the news. I think that by doing this it allows the views of minorities and majority groups to change. For example in the most recent news police officers have been shown in a bad light particularly to minorities. I just saw a post on social media showing an officer helping an African American woman who was slightly overweight finish a race. By showing this positive image of police officers it can shift some of the negative stereotypes that are believed about them.
How might individuals in the United States work together to reduce prejudice and increase appreciation for diversity? I think that the United States has done a good job at working together to reduce prejudice but I they still have some work to do. Laws against discrimination have helped to reduce prejudice but there is still some prejudice out there. I think that education is a way that we can improve this. Recognizing holidays and other cultures is also a way that United States has increased appreciation for diversity. I believe that if we make it a trend to be more accepting of people who are different or do not come from the same background as us we can truly become a nation without prejudice.
How might you change your own behaviors to be more inclusive and pluralistic? Since having children I have become a lot more aware of trying to be more inclusive. I know that my children will learn from me so I try to teach them to be accepting of all people. I used to laugh at some stereotypes because I thought it was harmless. When I heard my seven year old daughter mention a stereotype as if it was a fact I decided to change my thought process. I think that I can be more pluralistic by trying to get to know more people whose backgrounds are different than mine.
Conclusion
Throughout this Cultural Diversity course I have learned a lot about my own cultural background but I also learned so much the backgrounds of other ethnicities. I think that learning about all of the hardships of other ethnicities really had a heavy impact on me. I honestly feel like I am able to relate to them more. It allowed me look at what role the media plays in promoting stereotypes and prejudice. I believe that individuals would greatly benefit from this class because it causes them to look at their own perception as well as the perception of others when it comes to race and diversity.

References
Padgett, K. (n.d.). Racial and racist stereotypes in the media . Retrieved from http://racist- stereotypes.com/
Schaefer, R.T. (2012) Racial and Ethical Groups. 13th edition. NJ .Merrill Prentice Hall.

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