Dimensions of Cultural Diversity: Primary and Secondary Dimensions Explained

Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
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What are the dimensions of cultural diversity? Identify and briefly explain the dimensions by referencing both textbooks. There are primary and secondary dimensions of cultural diversity. The primary dimensions are the ones that are the thought of most when thinking about diversity. These are things that describe an individual’s identity. The things included here are things such as age, gender, race, etc. If you are reflecting on the many ways your employees can vary (by race, gender, age, education, sexual orientation, geographic origin or employment, tenure), that’s a mixture whose components are people, individuals categorized along multiple dimensions” (Harvey & Allard, 2009 P. 12). The secondary dimensions are functions or organizational units.

“One may argue that functions are composed of individuals, which is true, but the general manager of multiple functions does not experience this as a mixture of people but rather as a mixture of organizational units” (Harvey & Allard, 2009 P. 2). Some dimensions of cultural diversity are east to recognize, while other are not. We all should be very open to the meaning of diversity, and be looking for and sensitive to the differences in each other. With what ethnic, cultural, or other groups do you identify? Describe what members of your social circle have in common. Although I only have a small percentage (3/8th’s) of Cherokee Indian in me, I would say that it is the ethnic group that I identify with the most. The history, religion, and way of life of the Native Americans have always fascinated me.

Native Americans are very proud people. They are also very connected with nature, and enjoy living off of the land. While there are many Indian reservations now that are very modern there are still many who stay true to their roots, and still live their lives as closely to the ways of their ancestors as possible. I feel that these roots are very strong and just having a trace if Native American blood in you is enough to keep your love of nature and enjoyment from being in the wild strong.

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Regardless of the way current Native Americans live, the simple fact that this blood if flowing through their veins is something that all Native Americans are proud of, even ones like me who just have a small amount. What is the difference between diversity and inclusion? Diversity and inclusion are very closely related. Diversity represents having people of different races, genders, ages, disabilities, sexual orientation, color, native origins, religions, etc. together in a group. You can see diversity in just about every place you go.

Think about flying on a commercial airplane. You will most likely have a very diverse group of people flying with you. Just having a diverse group does not mean that all people in the group are treated equally, or valued for their abilities, and unique qualities. This is what inclusion is. So in the same example of flying on that commercial airplane, you would see inclusion in the treatment received by all persons on the plane from the flight attendants. You could very well see the lack of inclusion from some of the passengers on the plane as well.

So the difference is that diversity is just having a group of different types of people together, and inclusion is the equal treatment and respect of each individual in the group. What is the importance of workplace diversity training? Workplace diversity training is extremely important. With the rising number of minorities in the workplace it is almost guaranteed that you will be working in a diverse group of people. Not being properly educated on diversity, and how to effectively work in these diverse groups can be very detrimental to your own career success, as well and your co-workers and employers success.

Communication is essential in all work environments, and poor communication between people in a diverse group is the biggest cause of conflict. Not being properly educated and careful in word choice could possibly result in coming across as insensitive, rude, or hateful to a co-worker. This miscommunication will more than likely create conflict and animosity between the people or groups of people involved, which will affect their job performance and may end in disciplinary action up to possible loss of employment.

The point of diversity training is to prevent this type of miscommunication from happening, and keeping all employees happy, and working well together. What is your experience with workplace culture? Could there be, or could there have been, more inclusion? When I was working as a Service and Parts Director in a large automobile dealership I had a couple of employees who were from Africa, and were devout Muslims. As part of their religion they would lay down rugs on the floor and pray to their God several times a day. This act of faith upset many of the other employees and caused animosity between them.

This had been going on before I started working there, and when I took the department over I realized that this was a major problem that I had to correct. I realized that both groups of employees were very talented and important and that not only did I need all of them, but I also needed them to get along and work together. Through mentoring, and diversity training I was able to open the minds of the employees who disliked the Muslim faith. Within a month of starting this mentoring and training both groups started working well together and even became good friends.

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Dimensions of Cultural Diversity: Primary and Secondary Dimensions Explained. (2017, Apr 26). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/thinking-diversity-inclusion/

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