The concept of globalization, which is the increasing integration and interdependence of different countries from one another in terms of economic, communication, and technological aspects, leads one to address the concept of cultural diversity or multiculturalism. Cultural diversity in the health-care system touches lives of many Americans in one way or another. No matter what our own cultural background is, when we go receive medical care, we may encounter a care giver who comes from a different cultural background than ours(Naylor 1997,291).. In the concept of cultural diversity, it can be recognized that two terms are equally important. The first concept is culture, which refers to the total way of life of individuals, and the unique characteristic that separates the human from the rest of the world of living things. It is said to be the primary means of human adaptation and the basis for the majority of human thought and behavior. As such, human beings create, learn, and use culture to respond to the problems of their natural and social-cultural environments, to control them, and even to change them (Naylor 1997, 3). The other important term in the concept of cultural diversity is the concept of diversity, which refers to variety. Putting the two concepts together, cultural diversity refers to the presence of a variety of cultures in a particular group or area. In this sense, the difference of one’s culture with another is being recognized, thus, emphasizing one’s individual unique characteristics in relation to one’s ethnic or racial origin.
However, the concept of cultural diversity does not only refer to one’s difference and uniqueness in terms of cultural difference. This is because this concept also refers to personal cultural diversity, which refers to individual differences in terms of family background, values, personal experiences, prejudices and judgments, and socioeconomic class. In addressing personal cultural diversity, the cultural
Cited: Naylor, Larry L. Cultural Diversity in the United States. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1997.
Naylor, Larry L. Cultural Diversity in the United States. Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey, 1997