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West Coast University Introduction to Culture Ethnicity and Diversity Discussion

West Coast University Introduction to Culture Ethnicity and Diversity Discussion

Question Description

I’m working on a writing discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Discussion Forum: Introduction to Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity; Cultural Interactions and Issues

Culture and Conflict – Cultural MessagesDefinition:Cultural messages, simply, are what everyone in a group knows that outsiders do not know. They are a series of lenses that shape our perceptions, interpretations, boundaries, and values.Users:Anyone involved in a cross-cultural conflict. This includes not only people from different countries but also people from different gender, ages, ethnicities, religions, regions, and even different professional groups. (One might speak of the engineering culture or the business culture, for example.)Description:Culture is an essential part of conflict and conflict resolution. Culture is a powerful and often unconscious influence on our perceptions and our behavior.How Cultures WorkCultures are a shifting, dynamic set of starting points that orient us in particular ways. Everyone has multiple cultures that dictate what is considered “normal.” When others do not meet our expectations, it is often a cue that their culture is different. We may mistake differences for evidence of bad faith or lack of common sense, without realizing that “common sense” is cultural. What is common sense to one group may be counterintuitive (or even stupid or evil) to another.Some implications of the cultural dimensions of conflict include the following:

  1. Cultural generalizations (beliefs, for instance, that Americans are loud or that Italians are good lovers) are not the whole story. Even if they are sometimes true, the cultural norms of a given group do not predict the behavior of an individual, who may not conform. There is no substitute for building relationships and getting to know people as individuals.
  2. Culture is constantly in flux and cultural groups adapt in unpredictable ways. Therefore, no comprehensive description can be formulated about a particular group.
  3. Culture is under the surface — it is not easy to access these symbolic levels, since they are largely outside our awareness. Therefore, it is important to use many ways of learning about culture, especially indirect ways, i.e. stories, metaphors, and rituals.
  4. Culture becomes important depending on context. When a cultural identity is threatened, its importance increases.
  5. Culture and Conflict: ConnectionsFor any conflict that touches us where we’re vulnerable, where we make meaning or influence our identities, there is always a cultural component. TAnswer all parts of the question for full credit on the first post.
  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for example, is not just about land – it’s also about identity. Conflicts between teenagers and parents are shaped by generational culture and conflicts between spouses are influenced by gender culture. Cultures shared by dominant groups often seem to be “normal” — “the way things are done” to the dominant group but are less obvious to other minority groups.  We only notice the effect of cultures that are different from our own.
  • Prompt:
    1. What conflicts have you had in your life that can be placed in the definitions above? Were they resolved? How? If not, why do you think there was no resolution?
    2. In what ways will cultural differences influence decisions and interactions in a medical environment?

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