CULTURE AND DIVERSITY TIP SHEET
When implementing prevention programs, it is important to consider culture and diversity, such as socioeconomic status, sexuality, spirituality, ethnicity, and other aspects. Culture involves every aspect of an individual’s external and internal life. Many definitions of culture exist. One way to define culture is the knowledge, experience, values, ideas, attitudes, skills, tastes, and techniques that are passed on from more experienced members of a community to new members. Carriers of culture include families, religious organizations, peer groups, neighbors, social groups, and professional organizations. Some cultural experiences are related to biological factors, such as physical stature and skin color, while others are related more to sociological factors, such as socioeconomic status and religious affiliation. Drawing conclusions about a person based on their external appearance can be detrimental. There are many elements of culture and diversity (Hogan, Gabrielsen, Luna, & Grothaus, 2002). Some elements include: Aesthetics (attitudes and behaviors related to literature, music, dance, art, architecture, etc.) Ceremony (what a person is to say and do on particular occasions) Ethics (attitudes and behaviors related to honesty, fairness, principles, etc.) Health and Medicine (attitudes and behaviors related to wellness, sickness, death, etc.) Folk Myths (attitudes and behaviors related to heroes, traditions, legendary characters, superstitions, etc.) Exercise care in regard to what is a myth, what is a superstition. Gender Roles (attitudes and behaviors related to expectations of people because of their gender) Gestures and Kinetics (forms of nonverbal communication or reinforced speech, such as the use of the eyes, the hands and the body) Grooming and Presence (attitudes and behaviors related to physical appearance, such as hairstyle, cosmetics, dress, etc.) Ownership (attitudes and behaviors related to property, individual rights, etc.) Recreation (attitudes and behaviors related to how people spend their leisure time) Relationships (attitudes and behaviors related to family and friends) Religion and Spirituality (attitudes and behaviors related to spirituality, prayer, purpose in life, the possibility and type of afterlife, etc.) Rewards and Privileges (attitudes and behaviors related to motivation, merit, achievement, service, etc.)
CULTURE AND DIVERSITY TIP SHEET 5/17/06
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Rights and Duties (attitudes and behaviors related to personal obligations, voting, taxes, military service, legal rights, etc.) Sex and Romance (attitudes and behaviors related to courtship and marriage) Sexuality (sexual behaviors and sexual relationships) Space (the accepted distances between individuals, depending on their relationship) Status (attitudes and behaviors related to people of different rank (e.g. age, wealth, office or fame) Subsistence (attitudes and behaviors related to providing for oneself, the young and the old, and who protects whom) Taboos (attitudes and behaviors related to doing things against accepted norms) Time (attitudes and behaviors related to being early, on time or late) Values (attitudes and behaviors related to freedom, security, education, aggressiveness, intellect, cleanliness, cruelty, crime, etc.) . A useful exercise is to survey “core beliefs.” What are the 3 or 5 or 10 most important ideas about the nature of the world and the group’s place in it that characterize the culture? All aspects of culture should be considered, understood, and accepted when working with individuals and communities. Therefore, this section will discuss various ways to learn about cultures that may be different from our own so that we can come to understand the relevance of cultural competence and understanding diversity in prevention program planning. When planning and implementing prevention programs, thoroughly understanding the community served and involving community members is...
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