Diversity— A Focus on Issues in the United States
Thispaper examines the subject of diversity. Diversity is defined asinherent differences between people and can be judged based ondimensions such as race, culture, ideologies, religions,socioeconomic status, norms, beliefs, and behaviors, among aspect ofculture. While diversity can be harnessed for social and economicdevelopment, it presents different challenges for the case of theUnited States, characterized by cultural conflicts and disparities.There is the need for reform policies to be developed to addressthese weaknesses.
Purpose of the Paper
The importance of Diversity
The Limits of Diversity
The Cause of the United States
Diversity— A Focus on Issues in the United States
Thecore concepts of diversity are respect and acceptance of otherpeople’s culture, which involves understanding that every person isunique. Diversity can be approached from various dimensions such asrace, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexual orientation,physical abilities, age, political beliefs, and religious beliefsamong other ideologies (UNESCO, 2016). This paper discusses theissues in diversity in relation to the case of the United States.
Diversityis a crucial aspect of the human resource, and it is associated withcreativity and innovativeness because people bring together diverseperspectives. However, diversity challenge is a common problem in thecurrent society because it is characterized by misunderstanding andcultural shock. Diversity management has been lauded as a conceptaimed at addressing the cultural conflicts. In this case, diversitymanagement is the exploitation of the mentioned differences inpositive, safe, and harmonious way, in what is referred to as theprocess of valorizing the differences (Gershenson,Holt & Papageorge, 2015).Diversity management also involves going beyond simple tolerance andunderstanding one another in a meaningful way, valorizing each otherdifferences.
TheUnited States is considered a diverse society because it comprises ofpeople with different cultural backgrounds. According to Ingersolland May (2013),the population of foreign-born individuals (immigrants) and minoritygroups (Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians) constitute over 200million of the U.S overall population (National Diversity Council,2017). Moreover, the diversity of these groups concerningforeign-born individuals continue to grow. For instance, thepopulation of immigrants in the United States in 2016 was over 43.3million (Ingersoll,and May 2013).Besides, applications by asylum seekers and refugees have been on therise over the past five years, which is expected to further increasethe population of learners as well as diversity in different spheresof life.
Unfortunately,diversity subject has been a sensitive issue because it is adimension of evaluating disparities between groups of people. Indeed,the socioeconomic differences are notable between different groups ofindividuals. For instance, as far as education is concerned, theperformance of learners from minority groups and immigrants in theinternational student assessment tests indicate that a large gapexists between migrant, minority, and native students (Egalite,Kisida& Winters, 2015 Kent,2015).The authors further note that the performance of migrant students issignificantly lower than that of the natives and minority learners.The authors attribute the poor performance of students with a migrantbackground to lower levels of basic competencies and qualifications,high incidence of dropout rates, insignificant shares in tertiary andhigher education, low levels of enrolment in schools, low types ofdiplomas attained, discrimination and lack of funds (Kent, 2015).Besides,Gershenson, Holt, and Papageorge indicatethat diversity in the teaching staff is one of the contributors topoor performance among students from the minority and immigrantcommunities. In the United States over 40.5 percent of students inpublic schools come from the minority race and immigrant familieswhile only about 25 percent of the teachers are from minority races.The author notes that greater disparities and diversities among theteaching workforce exist at the pre-primary level. Some of the causesof the lower number of teachers from minority groups include lack ofresources, marginalization, lack of affirmative employment practices,high competition, lack of cultural and social support groups, highcosts of hiring teachers, lack of career progression, fear ofdiscrimination, and lack of desire by teachers to becomeintercultural flag bearers (Gershenson,Holt & Papageorge, 2015).
Inconclusion, diversity is one of the sensitive issues in the societybecause it is associated with various problems such as culturalmisunderstanding and socioeconomic disparities. Thegovernment of the United States recognizes that diversity is vital inbuilding social and economic development. Therefore, there is theneed to develop policies to address the areas of weaknesses.
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Gershenson,S., Holt, S. B., and Papageorge, N. (2015) WhoBelieves in Me? The Effect of Student-Teacher Demographic Match onTeacher Expectations.Retrieved from: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research:http://research.upjohn.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1248&context=up_workingpapers.
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