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Cultural Diversity in Modern Society

Culture is a concept that could be hard to understand, let alone measure, sometimes. As we go through with our lives, we meet a wide variety of very different people who carry very different experiences. Sometimes, these people’s worldviews and opinion may vary wildly from what we are used to. In this case, everyone needs to remember that mutual respect is a basic concept every human should employ when interacting with others.

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An example of a group of people who are different from me is generation Z or Zoomers, as I myself am a Millennial. Often, I can see that our opinions on some important matters such as environment protection, veganism or queer theory are, in fact, quite different. This becomes a cause for discussions which can quickly turn into conflicts and outright hostility from both sides, which I am not proud of. As a result of these conflicts, I have been called insensitive and blamed for not caring for environment or for being a consumer of animal suffering. Zoomers tend to accuse the people who do not support veganism of paying for cruelty towards animals, as well as they often try to scorn the queer theory and deny the existence of transgender people. I, personally, have been shamed for liking meat, and when I tried to point out veganism’s flaws, I have met aggression and ignorance. I cannot say that I am entirely right in my opinions – in fact, I understand that I am biased – however, I think that no one should be accused of cruelty for eating meat. Moreover, I am also firmly convinced that transgender rights are human rights, and will continue to defend my stand on it.

My expectations now that I know that young people can be not so open about other people’s worldviews have not really changed. In my opinion, humankind always has something to argue about, and the conflicts are a part of our nature. Moreover, truth is often revealed in discussion, and a healthy debate is always welcome when it comes to differences in views. I think my main accountability here is to ensure I am civil and respectful in interactions with other people, even when the issue is sensitive to me or when I am met with aggression. As an adult, I must strive to be open to hearing all arguments to my opinion and refrain from insults, accusations, and victim blaming.

Cultural communication in the modern world is becoming more dynamic and international. Intercultural relations of today presuppose equality of local cultures as opposed to the global unification of culture. Moreover, intercultural communication leads to the enrichment of the national cultures of different regions and countries of the world. The processes of international cultural exchange, of cultural diversity are the basis for the development of civilization, an indispensable condition for movement along the path to progress. Metaxa and Ely (2020) emphasize that “in these multicultural societies of today, people value different things, believe in different authorities, follow different customs” (p. 49). Culture forms systems of reference points for a person, people, nation, civilization, which allows you to determine your place in the world and identify yourself with a particular community. Cultural ties are a constant component of communication between peoples and the ability to convey the originality and aesthetic diversity of your culture is precious to me.

I think that today, it is more important than ever to support cultural pluralism, to protect racial, religious, and linguistic identity of every human. According to Stuart and Ward (2018), “the willingness to engage in integration processes, as opposed to segregation or assimilation, is predicated on the beliefs that diversity is a valuable resource and should be accommodated” (p. 5). The most important question in this regard: what within the world can unite representatives of different cultures? Is it just the inevitability of coexistence within a limited environment or is there a certain internationalism of our planet as a whole? I think that the answer is both – we live and develop together, and thus we should strive for cultural diversity to ensure that we see the world from as many perspectives as possible.

Multiculturalism is, in its essence, a driving force that brings together the differences that make us who we are, and tries to establish peace between many variables of human nature. The multitude of aspects in which lies the self-identification of any group that is bound by its own set of rules, practices, rituals and historical legacy, contains the concept of a culture as we know it. In an ever-going globalization of the world, a person is constantly at the border of many cultures, be it because of their birth and growing up circumstances, travelling, or family setting. Flache (2018) states that “cultural differences continue to remain in many realms of human life, for example, in the form of technological boundaries” (p. 996). A human’s identity is shaped by the cultural experiences they have had, and each of us can represent many different cultures at once.

I think that in order to successfully integrate multiple cultures into one’s identity – and by successfully I mean to be able to share and take pride in them – one needs to understand the impact of each culture. To know and recognize how a cultural experience influences one’s perception of themselves and their life, is, in my opinion, what a person can do to make the multicultural integration as fruitful as possible.

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The cultural diversity of different nations and intercultural communication between them is expressed in certain places or events. While each ethnic group celebrates only its own holidays, speaks only its own language, there is no interaction. When people of varied nations are offered an opportunity to tell about their culture, share knowledge, language, customs and holidays, and educate others, then interaction begins. This is the basis of cultural diversity, in my opinion – the willingness to share your cultural legacy with the world, and not hide it only for your own people to see.

When choosing an active life position, a strategy that meets the needs of a modern dynamic, rapidly developing social reality, the individual is more likely to achieve a sense of identity integrity. The open-mindedness allows us to navigate in the surrounding reality and comprehend ourselves from different social positions. If the passive path is chosen, then problems may arise in the formation of a harmonious identity. As a result, a lack of coherence can make it difficult to take full advantage of the opportunities that modern society presents to individuals. Thus, it is crucial for every person to develop their understanding of cultural diversity in order to become a versatile individual.

References

Flache, A. (2018). Between monoculture and cultural polarization: Agent-based models of the interplay of social influence and cultural diversity. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 25(4), 996–1023. Web.

Metaxa, V., & Ely, E. W. (2020). Cultural diversity. Compelling Ethical Challenges in Critical Care and Emergency Medicine, 49–55. Web.

Stuart, J., & Ward, C. (2018). Exploring everyday experiences of cultural diversity: The construction, validation, and application of the normative multiculturalism scale. European Journal of Social Psychology, 49(2), 313–332. Web.

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