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How do you define culture and cultural variation?

JUL 13, 2017
4-6 pages Diversity
You MUST use a minimum of six (6)scholarly references

How do you define culture and cultural variation? Is it through considering national differences? Do different races and ethnicities have different cultures? Is culture about religion? The fine arts? Group membership? Clothing, food, and holidays? Values? Language? How would you define your culture? What does it mean to be multicultural? How do you understand aspects of cultures that are not your own?

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Sociologists view culture as a multi-dimensional concept that can include all of the above-mentioned elements and more. In addition, cultures are not static. They are always changing as new ideas confront a culture through new inventions and the migration of people and ideas. As one example, the introduction of home computers and other computational devices have resulted in changed cultural expectations for learning and communicating in many cities, countries, and regions. However, in Lira, Uganda, where research by Dr. Jody McBrien conducted research for five years, home and school computers are rare, with the result that they have not created similar cultural changes. However, even many impoverished people there tend to have access to cell phones, and these have changed the ways in which they go about their daily lives.

It can be hard for us to be aware of our own culture and the cultural groups we belong to because they seem so natural to us. We do, however, tend to recognize aspects of culture that are not a part of our lives. There are several theories about prejudice, discrimination, and racism, and they are all linked to our uncertainty about difference. One is based on fear. For good reason, people tend to fear what they do not know, because some of those unknowns could harm us or even kill us. From the basic instinct for survival, it is easy for people to generalize that fear to all unknowns, rather than to take the time to consider many differences that could actually enrich our lives, or at the least, do us no harm. Unfortunately, unexamined fears and prejudices can cause us to misjudge and avoid differences that could otherwise enrich our lives.

For this assignment, I want you to have an introductory experience with an aspect of culture that is not part of your own. To do that, you need to know your own culture. What language(s) do you speak? What groups are important in your life (family, kinds of groups, religion/non-religion, interest groups, social class, sports groups, hobby groups, etc.)? What customs are important in your life? How does your race or ethnicity affect your culture? What cultural aspects are more important to you than others? When you think of different cultures, what comes up for you: elements that you think are more important or less?

Next, be uncomfortable in your skin! Go someplace where your personal values or comfort zone would not typically take you: a Republican rally if you are a Democrat (or vice versa), a place where your native language is in the minority, a gay pride rally if you are straight, an immigration or migrant workers’ meeting, a Planned Parenthood office, a pro-life organization, etc. You need to spend 3 hours for this part of the assignment.

Combine what you have learned about yourself and a different culture in a 4-6 page essay. Discuss what you feel are the most important understandings related to diversity that you learned, explaining their significance. Your Paper should include the following:

1) Summarize

2) Analyze the event in alignment with course topics on diversity. Consider what your culture has in common with this event and what you learn from the people you meet.

3) Include a discussion on why you chose the activity and your thoughts prior to the event, your reactions during the activity, and your reflections after completing the activity.

4). Discuss ways in which it helps you consider multiple perspectives and cultural dimensions that are new to you. Consider ways in which culture and diversity, based on your experience and definition of your cultural groups, can be a factor in the formal education process.

In addition to the above include your thoughts on the following regarding the intersection between culture and culturally relevant pedagogy for best teaching practice:

How can culturally relevant pedagogy make you:

5). A better person (Think about what Ladson-Billings said in the first video about her visit to Texas and what she said that should also be an imperative for the defined excellent AP students in that district) and

6). A better educator


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