Contemporary Diversity Issues

Essay by tholtmotaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2006

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Communication takes place daily in our everyday lives. We communicate at work, home, groups we belong to, or out in our communities. Communication is not easy and takes a great deal of work to truly understand each other (Bucher, R.D.). Culture influences how we look at problems and how we have learned to communicate. All people approach work differently when participating in groups.

Culture has many different definitions, but commonly culture refers to a group of people who share common experiences. Groups that we are born into, such as gender, race, or ethnicity are examples of cultural groups. Groups that we join into as adults are also included. Changing where we live, economic status or even becoming disable means we acquire a new culture.

Culture is one of the most powerful forces that we are influenced by. Our historical experiences and that of our ancestors have shaped who we are.

When we explore the directions that other groups in our society have taken it opens up avenues for cross-cultural communication.

When different cultural groups come together to work, values in each culture can conflict. There is a tendency to misunderstand each other and our reactions can hinder promising work relationships. Many times we do not even know that our values or assumptions are so much different from others.

Cultural differences have six fundamental patterns. These differences are in styles of communication, attitudes to conflict, how we complete tasks, decision-making styles, attitudes toward disclosure, and approaches to knowledge. Knowing these six patterns will help us understand people who are different from us. Understanding these differences will help us to process different ways that are respectful and not damaging to others (DuPraw, Marcelle).

Communication between people and cultures vary. Language usage is one aspect of communication. Words and phrases are used...