The 10 Lenses: Are you a Multiculturalist?

By: | January 25, 2017

If you’re a Multiculturalists you appreciate, recognize and support the many cultures in your day to world. You desire the many contributions cultures make to the well-being of the world. The Multiculturalist wants to retain the customs, languages and ideas of people from all cultures believes these retained characteristics create a dynamic environment that leads to creativity and innovation.

If you’re a Multiculturalist you have many strengths. You’re likely to:

  • Cherish and encourage a world that includes and respects all cultures without emphasizing the importance of one over the other.
  • Believe that, our cultural identity differences need not divide us if we’re fair with one another those differences.
  • Remind us that the world has been pluralistic from the start and that none of us would have that rich heritage without all ethnicities.
  • Contribute to getting humanity beyond its narrow cultural perspectives and develop a more expansive world view.
  • Value inclusive work teams that will incorporate all perspectives and experiences.

Multiculturalist desire to create and sustain organizational cultures that value cultural identity and understand how to cultivate it as a competitive advantage in communities, the nation and around the globe.

Now, no one is perfect. If you’re a Multiculturalist you have some weaknesses. You’re likely to:

  • Overly focused on cultural differences and unwilling to identify and sometimes commit to standards and norms that require people to sacrifice some of who they are for unity and cohesion.
  • Overemphasize racial, ethnic or cultural group identity, making individuals feel depersonalized and seen only as part of an identity group rather than as individuals.
  • Leaving members of the majority culture and majority culture subgroups out of your definition of multicultural.
  • Become overly moralistic and self-righteous.

If you’re a Multiculturalist in today’s world you must strive to accept that the Assimilationist Lens is a powerful world view and belief system around the world and around the corner. For example, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel told a gathering of her conservative Christian Democratic Party that the concept of multikulti (people of different backgrounds happily living and working together) doesn’t work in their country.

In a MultiDentity world pigeonholing people into opposites: male or female, black or white, young or old, married or single, gay or straight, rural or urban is ultimately defeating. To hold onto this notion is missing a crucial point: It’s simply too limited and polarizing to focus only on differences, which are just half of the human equation. Multiculturalists need to expand their world view to include a strong emphasis on what we have in common and seeking superordinate values (values that supersede our individual, ethnic, and local values and agendas) so we can solve the big problems the world’s facing right now. Without this enhanced focus on commonalities, our differences will be used as a wedge to promote division.

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