This essay will reflect the importance of diversity in the society. The definition of diversity will be given. Positive and negative aspects of diversity will be discussed. The issues of diversity like; gender, race, class, homogeneity and heterogeneity will also be discussed in this essay. Human beings have a basic difference which differentiates people into various classes in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class and so on. These differences cause a lot of misunderstanding, discrimination and prejudice among people of different divisions. Diversity, on the other hand helps people to identify these differences, understand, respect and embrace this differences.Therefore, diversity can be defined as the ability to recognise individual differences and the ability to respect and accept these differences without discriminating it.
Diversity consists of two dimensions. These are the primary and secondary dimensions. This is mostly represented with a wheel that contains the inner and outer wheel. The primary dimensions are six areas which are considered to be dimensions of diversity.These areas are; age, race, gender, ethnicity physical abilities and qualities, and sexual orientation. All these are represented by the inner wheel. These are perceived to be the most common and prevailing ways of different perception of individuals in looking at differences between people. The outer wheel contains areas that are placed under the secondary dimensions of diversity. These are things or elements that can be changed or acquired. As far as diversity is concerned,it is not only important to study diversity but it also has a major problem when dealing with the topic. According to Fry et al, one of the problem people encounter when dealing with the topic diversity, is stereotyping.(2004:156).Stereotyping is an element of prejudice, which can be said to be placing people on the basis of one particular area of difference. We must look “beyond the obvious elements of difference” says stoner et al (2004:157) in other to understand each person’s individuality. As they say, “although the topic of diversity may be studied in discrete sections, people do not fit into easy, simplistic categories. They are quite complex” (2004:157-8).Studying diversity is very important because it helps to understand various issues that causes discrimination. These issues are; race, gender, class, homogeneity and heterogeneity. These issues will be discussed individually.
Firstly, the issue of homogeneity and heterogeneity. Homogeneity is when a group of people have and share similar values, similar ideas, and similar ways of living and so on. This is called a homogeneous society. All human beings are homogeneous in one way or the other. It does not matter where you come from or your skin colour. Individuals share some common behaviour no matter how culturally different people are. There are different types of homogeneous society some of which are ethnically that is the Japanese society, religiously the Arab, culturally the Indians. So many researchers concluded that the most prominent one is ethnically, where people have similar culture and complexion and facial features,(Andromeda,a.n.d).Homogeneity has its advantages such as, homogeneous societies do not have the problem of language barrier, which sometimes causes threats to the unity of the society. Diversity of religious and ethnic groups can take up a wrong path, thereby causing misunderstanding in the society which may result to conflict. For example, after the incident of the 911, so many Indians, Pakistanis and Arabs were maltreated in the US, reasons due to the fact that there is lack of religious homogeneity. In the case of politics, the homogeneous society has more advantage. This is because the government decision making can be more powerful because the majority people have the same point of view. (Andromida , n.d.). But then, it also has disadvantages.The main problem with homogeneous society is as history stated that the homogeneity of a country has been endangered and broken many times and it is not possible to maintain the homogeneousness of a society.For instance,during the period of 5300 and 1940 B.C,the Sumerian used to live in present day Iraq, although they were politically,socially and agriculturally more advanced,they suffered in the hands of the Akkadians because they lacked and did not even think of developing their military power. possibly, homogeneity encourages people to be unaware of the development of the rest of the world. The leaders in a homogeneous society do not like accepting changes which leads to the down fall of the whole society. Example is Japan, during the time of shogun who believed in the homogeneity of their society, (Andromida , n.d.) .Yet studying homogeneity in diversity is very important. This is because it reminds people about the basic qualities individuals share no mater your race or gender or religion.Perherps,if people are being reminded about homogeineity,the rate of discrimination may reduce and people would start embracing and accepting other’s differences.
While heterogeneity is the exact opposite of Homogeneity. Heterogeneity is when people are dissimilar, that is, they have different backgrounds, different values, different needs and interest. When people with these features live in the same society, it is called a heterogeneous society. Today’s world is becoming more of heterogeneous society. This is because people try to adopt other people’s culture and the movement of people from one place to another has increased. The advantages of a heterogeneous society is the society have the ability to move together with the rest of the world. Heterogeneous societies understand the differences in individuals more and faster. A heterogeneous society has the tendency to live longer because more countries and societies all over the world are becoming more and more heterogeneous. There are certain disadvantages that hinders heterogeneity, such as; language barrier which causes so many problems that can lead to the crashing of that society. People who have different languages and are of different religious background tend to see their own ethnic or religion or language as superior than the others, this may lead to conflict between the different groups. The most dominant group in a heterogeneous society may try to oppress other groups. Decision making will also be slow or even be a great problem because the leaders themselves are from different backgrounds so they may have different point of views which will make them disagree with each other thereby resulting into a great misunderstanding. The issue of heterogeneity is important in diversity because people have to be aware of the differences between individuals in other to enable them accept others. So that people will know and understand that in spite of all the differences, there are also similarities that human beings share.
The next issue is the issue of class. Carl Max defined class as “an antagonistic relationship that is always relative to another group based on exploitation and control”. Social class is a group of people that have comparable social and economic status. Classification of people based on what you have, that is economic capital the quantity of your wealth, who you know which is the social capital and what you know the cultural capital. Class does not only affect people economically but it also affects people emotionally. Class may be said to be culture.(Class Action , 2004).Class can be changed during a person’s life time, that is some people are born and grew into a class but they live as adults in another, while some immigrants change their class from their original country to their new country. This shows that class operates along a range or hierarchy. The stratification of class is based on the upper class, these are the very wealthy and powerful people, The middle class who are the professionals and other high earning workers then the lower class who are classified to be people who only have low income and other resources. Classism is a way of oppressing people according to their class, wages or income. There are different levels of oppression which are; macro which happens due to economic, social, political and cultural institutions.However, as bad as classifying people according to their economic status looks, it has its benefits. These benefits are; it gave rise for more fluid structures in the western society, classification of people in a society makes way for others in that society. Exploitation of people is also present. The negative effects of classifying people is that it has been misunderstood which brought about classism. This makes individuals to be oppressed in a society either directly or indirectly. This results to emotional and physical damage. It is considered important to address the issue of class in diversity. This is because when the issues are being addressed, people will be able to understand that social class does not mean classism. And individuals will be able to understand the reasons behind classifying people under social class are not to discriminate or practice classism.
Furthermore, the issue of Race. Race is considered the group of people who share the same physical and biological factors. It can be skin colour facial features, religion, culture and ethnic group.Naturally; all human beings are genetically homogeneous. So many people do not view race to be a source of belonging rather, a cause to discriminate. This introduces racism which is the thought of one ethnic group or race to be superior to others, thereby making them to discriminate and oppress people who are not from their own race. It is also an institution that discriminate people against their physical and cultural groups. Race is important because it makes an individual to feel a sense of belonging to a particular group. It makes people know that they are not the only ones who look different or sound different to the rest of the world. It also has disadvantages which are; it creates a way for people to discriminate and oppress individuals who are from certain or different race from their own. It makes some people feel superior to others there by making those individuals fell inferior and less important in the society. The issue of racism should be addressed in diversity in other to make people understand that race does not mean any group is superior or inferior to others. It creates awareness to people that no matter the difference in individuals, humanbeings still share basic needs as nature requires them to. It will also make them understand that it is wrong to discriminate and feel threatened by other race. It may make individuals to accept people for who they are.
Lastly, the issue of gender. These are the socially constructed roles, behaviour, activities and attributes that society considers male and female to attain. These roles are being fixed by the society while some by nature. This determines what role individuals should play. Gender in some society is determined physically. It is important for people to know their gender roles in other for them to know what the society requires of them to do. It is also important for people to know their gender in other to play the right role so as not confuse their children. This is because in so many cases of single mothers or and fathers, their children grow up to play the wrong role in the society. Gender also consists of disadvantages. This is because people misuse certain gender to oppress. They have the believe that a certain gender is inferior to the other. For instance, the male gender consider the female gender to be inferior to them there by oppressing them. India is a very good example to cite gender discrimination. In India, the male gender make the female gender to the hard work that they are suppose to do. This is because they feel they are inferior to them. This issue gender is of great importance to be discussed in diversity, to let individuals know that people can choose their own gender roles. And gender does not mean one group is superior to the other. Diversity can be used to correct the how people view gender. Some societies that discriminates the female gander can be corrected through diversity.
All the five issues that were discussed above in this essay revolve around diversity. They are issues that the society misunderstand their importance what they stand for thereby making them to discriminate, oppress and prejudice people. These issues are important to be discussed in diversity in other to correct the ills in the society.Therefore, diversity is of great importance because it determines the future state of the society if it is ignored and not cared for. So many people suffer due to these issues but diversity can stop these sufferings. With diversity, people will learn to accept and understand individuals thereby reducing the rate of misunderstanding, conflict.prejudice and discrimination.
Conclusively, the definition of diversity was given in the essay; the issues of diversity were listed and explained. The positive and negative aspects or effects of these issues was given and explained. And how they are of importance to be addressed in the society. The importance of diversity in the society has also been pointed put and explained in this essay.