What is Cultural Diversity?

Reading, conversation and vocabulary activity


Nowadays cultural diversity is a fact. The World has some 6000 communities and as many distinct languages. Such difference naturally leads to diversity of vision, values, beliefs, practice and expression, which all deserve equal respect and dignity.           

Cultural diversity is our everyday reality. The international migration rate is growing fast every year. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of migrants has doubled since the 1970s. The report also says that around 175 million persons are residing away from the country of their birth and one in every 10 persons in the developed regions is a migrant. Also, more migrants are coming from countries ever farther away. While the reasons for migration vary (economic, political, personal choice …) , one thing is sure: we live in an increasingly heterogeneous society.

Culture is a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group. Art, literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, values systems, traditions, beliefs... Respecting and safeguarding culture is a matter of Human Rights and respect of fundamental freedoms of thought, conscience and religion, of opinion and expression, and freedom to participate in the cultural life of one's choice.

Cultural diversity is our collective strength. Indeed, it is not just a natural fact that we need simply recognize and respect. It is about plurality of knowledge, wisdom and energy which all contribute to improving and moving the World forward.


1)Find the meaning of these figures in the first 2 paragraphs:  6000   -   175  - 1/10 

2) Why is respecting and safeguarding culture a matter of human rights?

3)Why is Cultural Diversity defined as a collective strength?

CONVERSATION Questions: discuss with a partner or in a small group.

  • What are the good things about a multicultural society?
  • Can it bring problems to a country?
  • How would the world be different if there was no cultural diversity?
  • Will the planet eventually have mixed race societies?
  • What are the pros and cons of a country being multicultural or having just one culture?
  • Can a country lose its identity?
  • Should immigrants assimilate into the culture of their new country?

B) Cultural Diversity Key Terms:  Match the terms on the left to their definitions on the right.

1. Bias
A) The physical or mental characteristics of an individual that prevent or limit him other from performing specific tasks.
2. Culture
B) A microcultural group or collectivity that shares a common history and culture, com­mon values, behaviors, and other characteristics that cause members of the group to have a shared identity.
3. Cultural Assimilation
C) A classification of people based on physical and biological characteristics such as the color of skin, hair, and eyes.
4. Cultural Diversity
D) Preference tha prevents impartial or objective judgement.
5. Disability
E) Social, political, and economic structures that advantage one sex group over the other. Stereotypes and misconceptions about the biolog­ical characteristics of each sex group
6. Discrimination
F) A set of rigid and unfavorable attitudes toward a particular individual or group.
7. Ethnicity
G) Assuming that everyone in a particular group is the same.    
8. Ethnic group
H) A set of beliefs and values, especially about explanations that concern the cause and nature of the universe, to which an individual or group has a strong loyalty and attachment.
9. Mainstream
I) The values, beliefs, attitudes, languages, symbols, rituals, behaviors and customs shared by a particular group of people and passed from one generation to the next.       
10. Prejudice
J) A collectivity of people who have a sim­ilar socioeconomic status based on such criteria as income, occupation, education, values, behaviors, and life chances.
11. Race
K) The differential treatment of indi­viduals or groups based on categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, or exceptionality.
12. Racism
L) Changes made by a group to adopt the ways of the dominant culture.
13. Religion
M) A classification of people based on national origin and/or culture.
14. Sexism
N) A belief that human groups can be validly grouped according to their biological traits and that these identifiable groups inherit certain men­tal, personality, and cultural characteristics that determine their behavior.
15. Social class
O) The characteristics of the dominant ethnic and cultural group in the nation.
16. Stereotyping
P) Individual differences based on cultural, ethnic, and racial fact        

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