|Type of paper:||Course work|
|Categories:||Race Discrimination Human resources United States Social change|
The case presented is a critical one where the cultural diversity of the cultures within the United States brings out a lot of several aspects relating to biases, racism, and other forms of discrimination in the lives of non-Americans in all their spheres of lives. More critically, we are presented by the case of African Americans who according to the study are the most affected in the war against races, and one of their area of life affected by the discriminatory agents include their working environments where we are told that they face challenges such as low pay as compared to their white counterparts (ByarsWinston & Fouad, 2006).
In this case, the author begins by narrating to the audience how unique the lives of African Americans is in the United States. Spencer and MarkstromAdams (1990) states that the historical past of the African Americans is one of the most distinctive histories that compares to no other race and as a result, any attempts to compare it with the history of the white ethnic groups could be termed as a bogus move. In other words, the African American families are one of the American races that have gone a lot of struggles and experiences than any other race in the American land making them have a history like no any other. We are further told of how involuntary the immigration of the blacks into the United States was and further how after being forced to enter into this land, they have been enslaved for a period of not less than two centuries. This is not just a figure to be celebrated, two centuries of slavery in a land where you are taken without your consent is indeed a history owing to the current successes of most of the African Americans in the United States today (ByarsWinston & Fouad, 2006). Therefore, as a result of these social facts, there has always been an uninterrupted conflict between the whites and the blacks which seems to be having no definite end throughout the history of America.
According to Spencer & MarkstromAdams (1990), the differences pertaining to ethnicity and culture is so lethal and could grow into stereotypes which is a major key player in the relationship existing between groups of different cultures. The stereotypes existence contribute to the differences that exist among the people of different culture and hence the divisions. This is the social context in which the case is based.
The diverse aspects of the case
Several issues related to the aspect of diversity have also been brought up by the authors in this text. It is true that all the immigrant groups have at one point or currently still face problems related to acculturation, however, the major question by the African Americans is whether the political, economic, and social hardships they undergo courtesy of racial discrimination would allow the achievement of the American dreams for the country's larger group of the African Americans. The major diversity aspect touched by the authors, in this case, is the aspect of race and ethnicity. To be clear on this, we have to understand the roots of race, that race does not belong to a scientific category but rather a social construct. According to the current scientific consensus, the race has received severe undermining and racial differences have been termed as poor proxies for the actual genetic diversity of the people (Sue, 2001).
However, this will not stop us from discussing the aspect of diversity as brought up by the authors in this literature case. The workplace diversity is brought out clearly and how the African Americans have continued receiving racial segregation even at the workplace through discriminatory acts such as low wages and poor working conditions aimed and diminishing their social and economic status while at the same time maintaining the status quo of the whites. We are told in the case that the African Americans forms the larger groups of non-white cultures with about a 13% formation of the entire United States population (Evans, 1969). Currently, we are informed that more African Americans live in the South as opposed to the previous years when they mostly occupied the north and that in some six southern states, the African Americans make up to 25% with 84% of the blacks living in urban areas. As a result of these demographics, the major implication is that African Americans have had increased political powers in some of the specific regions that they occupy. However, race and ethnicity is still a factor even despite all these odds, and the major reason is that the blacks will always remain to be a minority group despite their numbers. Even if a state was to be comprised of 80% blacks, they would still be referred to as a minority group in that specific given state.
The sad story again is that regardless of the improvements and gains that the Africans have made in trying to better their lives, there has remained a continued existence in the income gap between the whites and the blacks regardless of their levels of socio-economic levels. For instance Sue (2001) states that the median household income for the African Americans in 2006 was 62% of the household income of the Americans. The U.S Department of Labor reported that between 1992 and 2000, the African Americans rate of job declination was higher as compared to the rate of the whites and the Hispanic. However, there are still challenges that need attention and address pertaining to cultural diversity and an ideal example is the increased suppression of the Africans at the bottom of the economic scale. Another diversity issue pertaining to race and ethnicity is the fact that the Americans are twice most likely to get employed as opposed to African Americans?
The ethics and cultural competency standards raised by the case
The paper has also had several ethics and cultural competency aspects portrayed in it which brings to light how significant it is for individuals to understand the importance of understanding diversity within their social setups. In other words, cultural competency can be interlinked to the appreciation and application of diversity in our social setups such as the workplace, school, and even within the societies that we stay. Diversity is composed of sexual orientation, gender, religious affiliation, and socioeconomic status. However, in our case, the much-discussed area is socioeconomic status. From how the author has brought out the issue of socioeconomic status, it shows how aware and sensitive they are on cultural competency and ethics. It is true that human beings have the same potentials despite their race or culture, and in fact, race is an ill mentality that we have to totally erase out of our minds.
In this case, the writer has touched on some of the most critical aspects under the consequences of discrimination, and this is a show of ethics and cultural competency. For instance, one of the touchy consequences that would result from discrimination to African Americans is that they would remain lonely, isolated, and restrained from some of the crucial social amenities and services such as healthcare and access to job opportunities. As a result of such discriminatory acts, African Americans are most likely to be disposed to negative factors such as the threatening of their psychological intactness and wholeness which is necessary for a person (Sue, 2001). Also when the author talked on the issues of stereotypes, it brings again the element of ethics and cultural competency. Basically, it is through such literary works that the society members get educated, and we can therefore not ignore the efforts of writers to bring to our knowledge such important information.
There are major concepts that I think would be of importance for an individual to understand so as to be able to integrate the whole idea of the case and what occurs in the real world today. The first concept is the concept of cultural knowledge, which implies that an individual ought to have some knowledge of cultural values, characteristics, behaviors, and beliefs of other cultural and ethnic groups. Cultural knowledge is a key factor that would help in achieving all these dreams of diversity, cultural competence and the rest. It is through cultural knowledge that an individual gets to understand that human beings have differences in color and culture among other elements, but, that should not make others be superior or inferior to others. It is, in other words, the awareness that would make people appreciate others the way they are despite their color or believes and values, hence leading to an environment of harmony and peace in the social setup where people coexist.
Cultural awareness is also a significant concept that people should understand. It is the next stage where we understand other groups and we open up to changing our cultural attitudes (Bucher, Klemm & Adepoju, 1996). Cultural competence is an aggregate of several things that all must be put together to achieve it. For example, if you have cultural knowledge but lack cultural awareness or sensitivity, then it still becomes impossible for you to be termed as a culturally competent individual. And it is for this reason that I find the work of the author on this case to portray significant cultural competency since he has displayed all the aspects.
Another aspect of cultural competency is exhibited when the author recognizes the work by Erikson concerning identity. Identity plays a sensitive role in the lives of individuals as they grow up through childhood into adolescence (Anderson, 2007). Factors that create complexity in identity include the function of color, language differences, distinctions in behaviors, and physical features. It, therefore, becomes a challenging factor when issues such as color, language, and physical differences take portion in the growth of individuals as it terminates the development of social competence which is a requirement for the successful functioning of the social roles.
The authors, therefore believe that there is a need for new conceptual frameworks shaped by the normal developmental processes models. This is a show of cultural competency as it goes against the deviance and deficit dependent formulations which dominate in the society today. Often, the traditional theories of development, according to the authors, tend to ignore the interaction of the internal cognitive factors and the external societal factors (Anderson, 2007). I like the example provided by the authors in this case. The example of the black children showing acceptance and comfort in using white dolls whereby the traditional theories believe that this is a sign of low self-esteem, something that is totally not true (Evans, 1969). The contingent findings report that the black children, for instance, showing acceptance to the use of the white dolls is not a show of lack of self-esteem but rather a sign of positive self-esteem by accepting and exhibiting the white bias of the dominant culture. The point here is that the traditional theories tend to ignore the resilient by the blacks which are a sign of bias, and by being able to keenly identify and elaborate on this, it is a sign that the authors of this case are indeed culturally competent.
Besides, the aspect of homogeneity is also assumed by the traditional development models. According to Weaver (1998), there is homogeneity among the members of a specific group and this should be taken into consideration as it can help limit race and other cultural differences. The assumption that all the members of a specific group have the same characteristics is indeed a bias though and at the same time a form of stereotyping.
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