SW 3410 Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Steven D. Sledge
The people in the world that we live in are extremely diverse, in terms of the nationalities, religions, gender classifications and physical abilities. Social workers must have a clear understanding of the consequences of diversity and difference and the mechanisms of oppression and discrimination as they relate to human development. The range of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds that social workers will practice in is huge. Because of this, social workers must have an understanding of the values and attitudes of a multitude of different cultures as well as an understanding of their own attitudes and values towards diversity. This assignment will explore the ethnic diversity of two individual students of Madonna University. Mr. Eric Munn, a student of Korean decent and Ms. Qi Mao, a student of Chinese decent.
I. General Description of the Interview and Setting (Mr. Eric Mun) The interview with Mr. Eric Mun took place on Wednesday February 13 at the international student help desk on the first floor of the main hallway at Madonna University at approximately 2:30 pm. Mr. Mun was extremely busy, as are all Madonna students, writing papers and answering questions for the other international students. I asked if it would be possible to have the interview in a setting where we could better hear each other but with his schedule and mines, that was not possible. The interview went forward with me standing at the desk and with Mr. Mun answering questions in-between helping the other students. II. Information obtained.
Mr. Eric Mun describes himself ethnically as Asian because both of his parents are Asian and the cultural physical traits such as skin color, hair color and cultural behaviors have all been passed down to him. When asked what ethnic group that Eric identifies with, he replied that he identifies himself as Korean. Mr. Mun grew up in Seoul, South Korea and is 23 years old. He is a sophomore at Madonna with a G.P.A. of 3.80, currently majoring in business administration. Eric grew up in Korea and came to the United States when he was 15 years old and has been in the United States for 6 years. He states that he graduated from a prep school in Atlanta G.A and attended Michigan State University in 2008. After a semester at M.S.U. Eric says that he joined the Korean Marine Corps and served for two years as an artillery gunner, but was honorably discharged as a sergeant. When asked what he recalled when he first recognized his ethnicity, he replied that his parents had been working for the U.S. Army for over 30 years in the Department of Criminal Intelligence. This is when he began to realize who he was. Eric says that he had several opportunities to meet with U. S. soldiers and their children and that he noticed the differences then. I asked Eric what he considered to be the positive and negative aspects of being Korean. Eric replied that he believes that Asian people are the best academically and are good at working with numbers and studying. In contrast, he believes that this makes up for a lack of physical athletic abilities. I asked Eric what he believes are some of the special characteristics of being Korean. Eric replied that the most special characteristic of being Korean is the emphasis on respect of elders. He states that he has seen a lack of respect for elders in most Western cultures that would never be tolerated in Korea. Eric stated that he has not experienced racism since he has been in the United States; however he believes that there is a bias against people of Asian descent in the business world. III. General Description of the Interview and Setting ( Ms. Qi Mao) The next interview took place on February 19 and was with Ms. Qi Mao. Ms. Mao is a 31 year old student and describes herself as a member of China’s Han nationality, which is the largest...