Write an essay (3–5 pages of text) that describes, examines, and reflects upon a personal cultural diversity encounter.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
- Competency 1: Describe theoretical ideas of power in relation to policy.
- Connect personal experience to three sociological concepts, issues, themes, or theories.
- Competency 2: Identify historical and contemporary influences of discrimination in U. S. culture.
- Reflect thoughtfully on a personal diversity experience or observation.
- Discuss diversity lessons learned from personal experience.
- Competency 5: Apply diversity strategies in professional, educational, and personal contexts.
- Suggest strategies for improving dominant-minority group interactions.
- Competency 6: Apply in text the standard writing conventions for the discipline, including structure, voice, person, tone, and citation formatting.
- Write coherently to support a central idea in appropriate format and with few errors of grammar, usage, and mechanics.
As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.
- What does diversity mean?
- What is the distinction between a dominant and a minority group?
- What are the differences among prejudice and individual and institutional discrimination?
- What are the key sociological theories used to describe relationships between dominant and majority groups, and how do these theories explain these relationships? For example, consider how conflict or functional theory approach race or ethnic relations or the theories of inequality proposed by Max Weber and Karl Marx.
- What particular issues surrounding diversity are most important or prevalent in today’s society?
For this assessment, you will reflect on a particular aspect of diversity and connect your reflection to ideas and issues relevant to the sociological study of diversity.
First, choose one of the following topics for your reflection essay:
- Discuss a time when you felt like an outsider in a particular social setting—in the workplace, at school, amongst a group of friends, et cetera. Describe what that experience was like, how it affected you, and what you learned.
- Discuss a time when you noticed someone being excluded, discriminated against, or otherwise neglected or treated unfairly in a particular social setting. Describe that experience, how you reacted, and what you learned.
- Explain how your own life has been shaped by one or more of the categories of diversity we are studying in this course: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, or social class.
Write an essay in which you complete each of the following:
- Part 1 – Describe your experience.
- Describe the event and the underlying diversity issues at play.
- Describe your opinions, feelings, and actions.
- Part 2 – Examine your experience.
- Discuss experiences from your personal background that might account for your feelings or reactions.
- Consider areas such as your ethnicity, history, upbringing, local mores, recent events, et cetera.
- Connect your experience to at least three sociological concepts and/or issues. For example, if you are writing about what if feels like to be an outsider, you could connect your discussion to the concept of power or social structure, or the broader issue of relationships between dominant and minority groups.
- Examples of other concepts you could include are prejudice, discrimination, stereotypes, cultural pluralism, assimilation, structural mobility, social distance, and modern racism.
- Examples of theories include functional or conflict theory, Marx’s and Weber’s theories of inequality, Park’s race relations cycle, Gordon’s theory of assimilation, human capital theory, scapegoat hypothesis, and the theory of authoritarian personality.
- Part 3 – Reflect on your experience.
- Based on your reflections of the event and the research you have now done, share the lessons you learned and specific strategies that are useful for informing the interactions or relationships between the involved parties, as well as your own understanding or perspectives.