Contemporary Diversity Issues Paper

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The prescriptive norms, rules, roles, and networks of a specific culture are a basic component of how that culture defines itself. These elements of a specific culture are particularly important, both for its overall place within a wider society and also for the members of that specific culture.


Increasing numbers of people belong to both a dominant culture and also an ethnic minority that has often been seen as submissive or lower down the hierarchy of power than the other position holds. For example, an African-American MD or Professor holds a high-status position within society because of their education, job and socio-economic status, but still belong to a race that is generally discriminated against.
This type of duality may lead to a paradoxical sense of contradiction within the individuals involved. They "belong" to both cultures, but feel absolutely comfortable in none. An example of this is illustrated by John Edgar Wideman in Brothers and Keepers (Wideman, 1984). The book tells of Wideman, a Professor and award-winning writer and his relationship with his older brother who is in prison for murder. Wideman explores whether his brother is more "black" then he himself is, questioning whether worldly success removes an African-American from the culture that he was born into.
Issues related to gender, race, and economic class are also an element of questions of diversity. The at times uneasy relationship between those who seek equality of races and those who seek equality between the genders has caused conflict within both movement. ...
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