Cultural Diversity

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The United States has always been the “melting pot” of various racial and ethnic groups. In spite of the sides of our history where each group experienced prejudice and discrimination on different levels past and present, our nation is still rich with cultural diversity. From this I have learned a lot over the last nine weeks about my culture, other cultures, and the possible future if all of us come together to become a more pluralistic society.

I began to understand the classification of subordinate groups (or minority groups) and how it ties into labeling. In spite of the generalization of minority groups there are other sub-groups within a minority group. For example, although there are Columbians, Puerto Ricans, Argentinians, Mexicans, and more, the designated majority group classifies these different groups as Hispanic or Latinos. In a way this type of classification denies their different cultures. Granted, there a lot of Hispanics that speak Spanish, but there are several different dialects within, just like with American English. Having a few friends who has Spanish as their primary language, I found that there are more than one way to ask one's name. There is the traditional way that is taught in classrooms across the country – Como se llama – and there are informal ways of asking one's name based on one's cultural background – an associate of mine asks "Cual es tu nombre" whereas asks "Tu Nombre?".

In addition to learning this, I also learned about identifying the reason(s) for labeling people. Subconsciously we have a tendency to classify and label people based on their appearance as well as from stereotypes. Whether it is based on one's environment or due to influence from the media, it's almost like a reflex to do so. Once I realized that I was doing that, I began to reflect on the things that led me to having that mindset and slowly began the process of de-programming myself from labeling. Even now I am continuing this process and, at the same...
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