An Essay on the Importance of Cultural Diversity and Cultural Competence

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An essay on the importance of cultural diversity and cultural competence

Julie K Drouillard
Devry institute
SOC 350
July 2009

The United States is a country consisting of many cultures, races and religions. The United States is becoming increasingly diverse and global, with many minority cultures and races developing into majority cultures and races. Newer religions take their place alongside traditional faiths. Both cultural and spiritual differences in people are potential causes for misunderstanding, confusion and conflict arising from intolerance and ignorance of these differences. It therefore becomes apparent why it is imperative for professionals of all types to have an awareness, knowledge and appreciation for others whose beliefs, practices and values are different. This essay discusses how this awareness relates to the concept of cultural competency and the implications it has on the professional and business world.

What is cultural competence?

Originally the term cultural competence was largely restricted to the healthcare professions, and referred to the ability to function effectively with individual patients and their families while maintaining cultural awareness. In 1992 the American Academy of Nursing defined cultural competence as care that is sensitive to culture, race, gender and sexual orientation. Since that time cultural competence has extended into businesses and organizations and is loosely defined as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enable them to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. | | |Being different in race, gender, age, sexual affections or ethnicity may not always be seen as positive by some people in an | |organization. Some people may think that being different is a deficit, showing...
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