April 12, 2010
Dr. Gretchen Brandhorst
Multicultural psychology gives the concepts necessary to understand, perceive, and value diverse cultures. Cultures include the learned behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, and values of people from various societies. They are also considered the shared customs of a society. A professional working in today’s society should have an understanding that there is no one culture globally better or superior to another. The professional with a bias view of cultural diversity is said to be unaware of him or herself. Learning to accept cultural diversity is a journey every individual should travel to appreciate this multicultural world. Cultural Perceptions
Perception according to the empiricist is oftentimes misleading because of experiences. I completely understand this theory because being of African American descent; I have noticed that the experiences of my relatives left them taint views regarding white (Caucasian) people. I know that I could have a bias attitude toward Caucasian people because of the beliefs passed on through lessons taught and perceived, from family members who had to endure the injustices of Jim Crow Laws in the southern region of the United States of America. My perceptions about white people would be contaminated if I held on to the stories from my family members. Jim Crow Laws created fears that later developed into anger that caused some African American to distrust white society.
Another bias attitude that I encountered was with the community in South Miami Florida. I was born in Miami, but moved to Central Florida for six year. When I moved back to Miami, I was different. I had a difficult time because I saw the people (specifically Cubans and Jamaicans) as short tempered and mean. The foundation of this judgmental attitude was perceptions. Perceptions are not stimulus-determined, but it is the product of...