What we think, and Why, the topic of Multiculturalism. By Chelsey
Throughout the week, our classes have been discussing numerous definitions that have brought about many shared beliefs and difference of opinions, especially with the topic of multiculturalism.
The simple definition of Multiculturalism is the reality of many unique characteristics of different cultures blending with numerous societies around the world. The cultural exchanges made between societies and nations have revolutionized certain areas in the world. An example that I have experienced was the European influence of Philosophy. In my general college classes, it was recommended that we take a Philosophy class. I found it to be fascinatingly interesting. Also with the multiculturalism implement introduced by the European imperialism these great areas of expertise were established and recognized further: Psychologists, Sociologists, and Historians.
A good example of these cultural exchanges is something simple such as food. America is a prime example of different foods from other cultures. One of my favorite restaurants is Khan’s, which is a Mongolian Barbecue. Minneapolis provides numerous arrays of ethnic restaurants that tempt Americans to think outside the burger and fries box. There is an awesome Turkish restaurant on Snelling near Hamline University called Black Sea I am not the type to try new foods but I was wowed. An interesting thing to learn from our fellow social workers in Cuernavaca would be to hear from them what types of restaurants they have encountered or experienced!
Multiculturalism is not always welcomed or accepted. This has caused certain policies to be put into place around 1970 starting with varied countries and nations. Some examples of these policies include: government support for radio stations, news papers, and television stations in many minority languages. Another policy was the acceptance of religious and traditional dress in society, schools, and militia by other cultures. The education system has made sure to include its own policies on multiculturalism in a way that it “has mandated that the social work curriculum include content on cultural competence.” (Marsiglia, & Kulis, 2009, p. 75). We do this by recognizing and “celebrating the coexistence of multiple cultural identities” (Marsiglia, & Kulis, 2009) in communities and school systems.
How do these policies affect us in America? Does it bother anyone out there to have a few extra channels on your television that you can’t understand? It doesn’t bother me to have a couple extra channels to surf through to get to C.S.I. or my other favorite shows; I just keep in mind that it helps people from a diverse culture to stay in touch with their background.
Does anyone have personal opinions on people whose culture has them wearing certain clothing such as a Hijab in society? I find it interesting, and often wonder why Middle Eastern women wouldn’t want to conform to American society, but I understand that even outside of their country there are rules about women showing their hair. It also makes me wonder how we would be viewed in their country by not donning a Hijab, and the looks that we would receive. In context with certain barriers among cultures, such as languages, I find at times that I have no idea what others are talking about. For example, when I get a manicure it seems that many nail salons are operated by people from Asian cultures. Sometimes I am unable to communicate with the women doing my nails, and at times I can’t understand a question they are asking me and I feel stupid when I keep asking ‘what?’ until I can understand what it is they are asking me.
Are there certain areas or examples in the American or Mexican society that have caused you to take notice? Does this spark any personal opinions and stories from a time in your life?
Marsiglia, F.F., & Kulis, S. (2009). Diversity, oppression, and change. Chicago, Illinois: Lyceum Books, Inc.