What is the importance of cultural diversity

Administrative culture

Administrative culture derives from the concept of Organizational culture from. According to Wille (2003), it forms a subsystem of national culture and is shaped by it: "The controversy discussed in relevant specialist literature as to whether organizations are shaped by national cultures is conceptualized as the› culture bound ‹thesis vs.› culture free ‹thesis On the basis of people's cultural ties, organizations in which people participate are also shaped by the culture around them.In contrast, proponents of the ›culture free‹ thesis consider organizations completely free of cultural influences: They assume that organizations are universal Subject to conditions that do not experience any culture-specific characteristics.The outlined views represent extreme positions that are hardly tenable in their pure form.
According to Köppel, there is empirical evidence, especially in economics, that universal similarities are more likely to be found in the macro area (organizational structures, technologies) and differences are more likely to be found at the micro level (e.g. behavior of employees) (cf.Köppel 2002: 35 ff.) "(Wille 2003; administrative culture; internet source).

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Diversity, intracultural

"In contrast to› inter ‹, the prefix› intra ‹does not refer to a third› in-between ‹, but to an› within ‹. In the sense of the broad Concept of culture is therefore the interaction between relatives of Subcultures to be described as intracultural within a lifeworld network. However, this differentiation is necessarily fuzzy and must remain so, because the boundaries between inter- and intra-culturality are fluid. It can be explained, however, that and why z. For example, in terms of surface structure, a German and a Chilean baker have more things in common and possibly understand each other better than the same German baker and his neighbor, a German mathematician "(Interkulturelle Kompetenz Online 2004; Internetquelle).
It is precisely the internal cultural differences that are influenced by the approaches based on national stereotypes (Cultural dimensions; Cultural standards) mostly completely hidden. But intra-cultural diversity is also often neglected in development cooperation; one thinks in terms of categories, earlier in terms of races, then in terms of ethnic groups and communities. Nevertheless, it is particularly important for development cooperation projects to take the heterogeneity into account. The diversity relates z. B. to different languages ​​or dialects, different religions, traditions etc., but also to different classes and generations.

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Diversity, cultural / social diversity / cultural diversity

Taylor Cox Jr., one of the leading diversity scientists in the USA, defines the term as the mix of people within a social system who have clearly different, socially relevant group affiliations (cf. Cox / Beale 1997: 1). If the distinction is made on the basis of language, behavioral norms, values, goals in life, styles of thinking or world views, then if it has cultural relevance, the authors speak of cultural diversity (cf. Cox / Beale 1997: 2).
Ethnological studies on diversity in cultures can be made fruitful for understanding and improving formal organizations. "Diversity is not simply bigger or smaller: societies and organizations are different! In the public debate about culture as well as in organizational research, 'culture' mostly stands for differences, for difference. Emphasizing the differences between cultures, however, leads to blind spots. First, the similarities between cultures are ignored. Second, the differences within cultures are overlooked "(Antweiler 2003c). Diversity, intracultural
›Diversity‹ is almost always rated, mostly positive (while ›heterogeneity‹ is often considered negative, for example). The English term includes a pair of meanings that allow very different normative settings: on the one hand, diversity in the sense of differentness, on the other hand, diversity (biodiversity) in the sense of type or species diversity. There is agreement in recent diversity research on the following statements:

1. that every attribute / category that is underrepresented in a group can potentially become the basis for categorization;
2. that certain demographic characteristics (physical appearance, gender, age) are more conspicuous and are therefore more easily used for social categorization;
3. that race / ethnicity, gender, class and sexual orientation are institutionally and culturally constructed and therefore fundamentally changeable;
4. that each of these dimensions of social organization is constructed dichotomously (white / non-white; women / men; etc.);
5. that each dimension is also made up of parts of the other (›asexual white person‹);
6. That the ideas and rules by which social identities are constructed in the West are part of a larger pattern of thought and organization that is committed to the Enlightenment paradigm (cf. Cox / Beale 1997; also Schönhuth 2003).

The 2001 UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity (Internet source) regards them as just as important as biodiversity; it represents a benefit for present and future generations. Cultural diversity is seen as one of the roots of development, whereby this should not be understood in terms of economic growth alone, but as a path to a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence.
Business administration approaches the term more pragmatically. From their point of view, diversity does not yet represent a value in itself. Because mostly higher costs have to be calculated for more diverse possibilities. On the other hand, for strategic reasons, it can also be important for a company to have several alternative courses of action. For business economists, the focus is therefore on the following questions: Why is diversity needed? What does diversity cost? What are the additional benefits?
UNESCO / culture; development; Intracultural diversity; cultural pluralism

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Diversity, cultural and government action

Wicht (2004) differentiates between seven meanings of cultural diversity in the modern nation-state:

a) in the sense of multiculturalism (typical of US politics from the 1970s to 1990s: "affirmative action towards minority groups");
b) in the sense of reflecting the creative diversity of different groups Cultural policy (Canada and Australia as examples where this diversity approach determines government action).
c) in terms of the exceptional status and the need to protect cultural assets in the international movement of goods (e.g. protection / promotion of the local film industry);
d) within the meaning of the guarantee cultural rights (as the third pillar of human rights alongside political and social rights; right to cult. identity and cultural heritage);
e) in the sense of the protection of minorities and minority languages ​​(framework conventions already exist in the Council of Europe);
f) in the sense of the peaceful coexistence and cooperation of different groups under one federal roof ("dialogical Swiss approach" as a model);
g) in terms of the sustainability relationship between culture and development ("Our creative diversity"; UNESCO de Cuellar report 1995).

The 2001 UNESCO declaration on cultural diversity (internet source) considered cult. Diversity is just as important for sustainable development as biodiversity. Cultural diversity is seen as one of the roots of development, whereby this should not be understood in terms of economic growth alone, but as a path to a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual existence. The subject is also continued in this sense in the UNDP report on human development from 2004 ("Cultural freedom in our world of diversity").
There is no scientifically clear connection between cultural diversity and economic development - neither positive nor negative. The connection between weak economic performance and a multiethnic state can be refuted just as much in African examples (e.g. Mauritius) as in Asian examples (e.g. Malaysia; cf. UNDP 2004: 6; 177ff.). Studies also show, however, that ethnic diversity causes costs because governments have to deal with the demands of different, competing groups against the background of limited resources. For example, people are apparently willing to spend more on government services if they can live with people of similar social categories (ethnic, class ...) (Alesiana / Spola 2003).
For the UNDP, too, cultural diversity is not a value in itself. Only in the positive connection with cultural freedom, the possibility of making a choice, it gains its humanistic quality (UNDP 2004: 33).
UNESCO / culture; development; Intracultural diversity; cultural pluralism; Freedom, cultural.

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people

"People is an emotionally charged expression with strongly fluctuating content. Sometimes it is rather Ethnicity, sometimes rather nation, then even the ›broad masses‹, the ›simple‹ members of a society ["we are the people ..." ms], or are the bearers of rural culture. The term has had a career as an asymmetrical counter-term to the state, especially in the German-speaking area "(Elwert 1999b: 400).
For Hansen (2000) the collectivity of a people consists of the repertoire of its common intellectual resources, from which the individuals make use, regardless of race or ethnic origin, class, gender or individuality. In contrast to nation, which could be described as a purely political form of state organization that emerged in the 19th century, he sees the people as a collective with "resilient internal cohesion" that sticks together even without external political coercion. This inner connection is based above all on the time factor, which enables more communicatively developed behaviors that are presented to the member as a behavioral offer. Similarities emerge (language, rituals, customs, manners, common discourses, mentalities) that create their own reality and are passed on across generations. This cultural memory is the prerequisite for a self-image that can develop into a popular identity when there is a need for solidarity (differentiation from external images), with appropriately constructed myths of the founding of the people, history, etc. (cf. Hansen 2000: 225 ff.)

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Peoples, indigenous

Indigenous peoples (also: ›indigenous peoples,‹ ›indigenous ethnic minorities,‹ ›tribal groups,‹ ›scheduled tribes‹) is a relatively recent loan translation, probably from the Spanish ›Pueblos indígenas‹. In international political contexts ›Indigenous Peoples‹ / ›Pueblos Indígenas‹ is the common collective term for indigenous peoples of all continents, while other collective terms are often used in national contexts (e.g. Aborigines, Native Americans, First Nations, Adivasi ). The most widely used definition of this term goes back to UN Special Rapporteur José Martinez-Cobo, who linked it to four criteria in 1986 (here in the more precise form of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations; WGIP 1996):

1. Temporal priority with regard to the use or settlement of a certain territory: Indigenous peoples are relatively the ›first‹ inhabitants of an area.
2. The voluntary perpetuation of cultural distinctiveness, which can affect the areas of language, social organization, religion and spiritual values, modes of production and institutions: Indigenous peoples are culturally clearly different from the majority society.
3. Self-identification and recognition by others as a distinct community: The majority of those affected must themselves be of the opinion that they belong to a distinct group (a people) and that this is to be regarded as ›indigenous‹. At the same time, this view must be shared to a significant extent by others, for example by members of other indigenous peoples.
4. An experience of oppression, marginalization, expropriation, exclusion and / or discrimination, whether these conditions persist or not: The degree of oppression that persists today can vary widely, from structural disadvantages in terms of opportunities for advancement to forced displacement and extermination. In any case, the oppression experienced as a group is constitutive for the political self-image of indigenous peoples.

An exclusive, ›hard‹ definition of the term ›indigenous peoples‹ cannot and should not exist in the opinion of their representatives, but also of the UN working group on indigenous peoples. A central element of the distinction between indigenous communities and the non-indigenous majority society is often the particularly close ties between indigenous cultures and their respective territories as well as the particularly close relationship to this, which usually also has a spiritual dimension. (Text slightly shortened from Wikipedia 2004: indigenous peoples; Internet source).
The group of indigenous peoples comprises around 350 million people in more than 70 countries around the world and represents more than 5000 languages ​​and cultures. Many of them now live on the margins of society and are cut off from basic human rights and especially cultural rights. Internationally, organizations such as Survival International, founded in 1969, deal with the concerns of indigenous groups (www.survivalinternational.org). In Germany and Switzerland, this is primarily the Society for Threatened Peoples (www.gfbv.org; or www.gfbv.ch).
Development cooperation with indigenous peoples often requires an analysis of the legal framework (such as the rights of the indigenous peoples to the land they inhabit). Indigenous peoples are different from ethnic groups or Minorities through the historical spatial reference that the latter do not necessarily have. (See also the BMZ concept for development cooperation with Indian population groups in Latin America 1996; BMZ Concept No. 73). Indigenous peoples or indigenous people?

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National community

According to a definition by the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of the Interior, it is understood to mean "... a strictly hierarchical community in which the state and an ethnically homogeneous people merge into one unit and in which all class and class barriers are abolished. The state leadership acts intuitively the unified will of the people, the individual subordinates his interests to the welfare of the national community. (...)
As early as the end of the 19th century, the national community was held against the social contradictions of that time as a social ideal. The individualistic society, which is dominated solely by economic and political benefits, was contrasted with the community of families, neighbors or people characterized by grown structures (Ferdinand Tönnies, 1887). (...)
Only those who belonged to the 'Aryan race' and fully embraced the National Socialist worldview could count as part of the National Socialist national community. This meant that “foreigner” people, especially Jews, were excluded from the outset. (...)
The real goal of this ideology, however, was not a community of free individuals, but a 'people and achievement community ready to make sacrifices' that mechanically obey the orders of their leader. To this day, parts of right-wing extremism refer to the ideology of the national community: (...)
The ideology of the national community continues to gain its attractiveness from the need for security and cohesion, especially when existing social structures are perceived as anonymous and soulless. A community based on the principle of the national community would inevitably be characterized by an authoritarian leadership of the elites without sufficient democratic legitimation and the exclusion of people of other ethnic groups and those who think differently. "(Interior Ministry North Rhine-Westphalia 2004).

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prejudices

In everyday life, a prejudice describes pronounced positive and negative judgments or attitudes of a fellow human being, if these are not considered to be realistic and the person concerned does not deviate from his or her opinion despite counter-arguments (cf. Bergmann 2001: 3; Internetquelle).
In scientific prejudice research (especially psychology, social psychology and sociology), only those social judgments are subsumed that violate recognized human norms, in particular norms of rationality (i.e. hasty judgment), justice (principle of equal treatment not adhered to) and humanity (intolerance and Rejection of the other as fellow human beings, lack of empathy). "Prejudices are therefore stable and consistently negative attitudes towards another group or an individual, because they are included in this group" (Bergmann 2001: 3; Internet source).
In his classic work "The nature of prejudice" from 1954, Gordon W. Allport characterized prejudice by the following features:

1. It is a hasty judgment; H. a judgment that is not at all or only very inadequately supported by reflections or experiences or even made before any experience / reflection.
2. It is usually a generalizing judgment, i. H. it does not just refer to a single case, but to many subjects of judgment.
3 It often has the stereotypical character of a cliché and is presented as if it were irrefutable.
4. In addition to descriptive or theoretically explanatory statements, it also contains direct or indirect assessments of people, groups or issues.
5. It differs from a judgment through the faulty and above all rigid generalization.

Allport recommends overcoming prejudice against people through joint activities. In his view, it is not enough to just gather information about the person concerned, as prejudice is stronger than "bias". (Wikipedia 2004: Prejudice; Internet source)
Bergmann emphasizes that today's prejudice research asks less about the structure and content of prejudices and more about the functions of this “wrong” thinking. According to Schmalz-Jacobsen / Hansen (1997: 246 ff.), Prejudices have the following functions. They serve:
  • orientation in confusing situations and relationships. In this way they allow behavioral security; ensure the creation and maintenance of self-esteem.
  • group formation through inclusion and exclusion. They enable discrimination without a conflict of conscience. Prejudices allow the aggression to be shifted to outgroups to secure the ingroup. With these characteristics as a starting point, there is unequal treatment.
  • the legitimation and justification of the exercise of power. They help to maintain the status quo of the distribution of power between minorities and majorities.
  • the stabilization of power relationships by providing ›scapegoats‹. They lead to expectations of solidarity within groups.
Prejudices are particularly relevant when dealing with ethnic minorities in one's own country. They can be changed into judgments through education, information or encounters and concrete experiences. However, Schmalz-Jacobsen / Hansen also emphasize that one-off courses or training courses lead to prejudices only to participants who no longer admit prejudices. "The permanent overcoming of a prejudice presupposes that a positive experience with members of an outgroup cannot be interpreted as an exception, but rather can be addressed as an expectation to all members of this outgroup" (Schmalz-Jacobsen / Hansen 1997, 246 ff.).

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