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bridging (Inter-) Cultural DIversity

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Keuzedeel International 1: Bridging (Inter-) Cultural Diversity


Why is this Subject of Importance to me?

To be able to be an effective hospitality manager there are many key skills that you are expected to deliver on. The hospitality industry is a culturally diverse sector, so it is important to understand what culture is and what effects this has on a team.



What is Culture?

Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.


What does this Include?

On the Surface: Food, dress, music, drama, crafts, literature, celebrations, games, language, etc.

Under the Surface: Eye contact, unspoken rules, non-verbal communication, personal space, etc.



What is Diversity?

It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences.


What does this Include?

Race, beliefs, values, ethnicity, gender, political views, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc.

Introduction to Culture

What Possible Benefits are there for a Culturally Diverse Workplace?


Increase Interpersonal Skills: Working together can makes it easier to understand views from others.


Increase Teamwork: Working and Understanding each other  =  Better Teamwork.


Expand Innovation and Creativity: Diverse Backgrounds  =  Different Ideas and Solutions to Problems.

Mixture of Lanagues: Diverse Languages  =  More Potential International Customers. Knowledge expansion.


Increase Company Credibility: Diverse Team  =  More Attractive to Potential Customers and Future Employees.

Increase Productivity: Diverse Skill Sets and Background  =  More Productive than Similar Skill Sets.



What Possible Risks are there for a Culturally Diverse Workplace?


Communciation Problems: Increase Number of Communication Filters / Language Barriers =  Impact on Communication Processes.


Cultural Resistance to Change: More diverse =  Change of Relationship / Nature of the Workplace = Stress, Negative Relationships and Poor Workplace Morale. #Resistance to Change is Common in Workplaces.


Discrimination: Diverse Workforce =  More Opportunity for Discrimination. 


Increased (temporary) Costs: Diversity Training, Effective Management  =  Cost.

Task One

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What Mannerisms do we Associate with Culture?

Body Language, Social Habits, Etiquette, Personal Space, Touching, etc.


How do we Learn Culture? Where, When How?

We learn our shared norms and vaues within our culture from those around us. It is learned from Imitation (imitating those around you), Rules (Spoken and Unspoken Rules from your culture) and Corrected Mistakes. These shared cultural mannerisms and beliefs are passed down from generation to generation.


How do you see Yourself? What is your Culture? What Makes you you?

By looking at yourself and your own culture, you are able to define exactly what you are. By being able to understand your own culture better, it is easier to learn and understand other cultures. Learning everything about yourself, your positive and negative points enables you to broaden your horizons and develop as a person.


How do we Think others Interpret our Culture?

By looking at your own culture and imagining how people from other cultural backgrounds would interpret your culture, you are able to see yourseld from the perspectives of others. it is important to have an open mind, therefore being able to see the positive sides in difference and also to be able to laugh at any 'strange' observations others make of your own culture.


What is Tolerance?

Tolerance is the ability to accept Ideas, Behaviours and Feelings that are different than those of the individual.


How can we Teach Tolerance?

We need to teach cultural difference and help people to learn to:

1. Empathise (See from their Perspective),

2. Understand the Reason for a particular Belief, Behaviour or Feeling,

3. Value Difference

4. Accept Difference.


Cultural Awareness

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What are Cultural Values?

The commonly held standards of what is acceptable or unacceptable, important or unimportant, right or wrong, workable or unworkable, etc., in a community or society.



Acceptable or Unacceptable

Important or Unimportant

Right or Wrong

Workable or Unworkable


What Important Aspects should I be Aware of?

We have looked at what culture is and the importance of cultural awareness. It is important to know the main aspects that differ within cultural groups. The following is not every aspect but is a main outline of important cultural aspects that you should be aware of. These aspects are:


1. Personal Traits

2. Communication (etiquette, touching, space/distance, direct/indirect)

3. Family Obligations

4. Gender and Sexual Orientation

5. Morals and Religious Background

6. Hygiene, Clothing and Meaning of Work


Cultural Values

Task Three

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Loking at your own Identity, Cultural Identity and Cultural Sensitivity.

When looking at cultural differences, it is not just important to observe and understand differences in cultures, it is important to be able to distinguish those similarities and differences between your own culture and that of others to become culturally sensitive.


Being Culturally Aware is not the same as being Culturally Sensitive. Being culturally sensitive shows that you understand those differences in culture, you are aware of the importance of cultural differences and most importantly, you do not give a value to a particular culture. Culture sensitivity is basically the ability to acknowledge differences in culture without the belief that one culture is better or worse than another.

Culturally Aware ≠ Culturally Sensitive 


Being Culturally Sensitive Does Not Mean Losing your own Culture.

Being culturally sensitive does not mean having to forget about your own cultural background and does not mean that all other cultural differences should have priority over your own. It is also important to know your own boundaries and how cultural differences affect yourself when looking to be culturally sensitive.  


Being Culturally Sensitive is about not being judgemental and showing that you can empathise and look from the perspectives of others. You can respect your own values while adapting to the values of other cultures that you interact with. 

Cultural Sensitivity and Self



Watch the following clips.


How would you describe the cultural sensitivity of the main character?


Would you say that he is very culturally aware and culturally sensitive?

Clip One: 


Clip Two: 

Task Four

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Cultural Sensitivity and Others

To have an effective working environment, it is important that all members of a team are culturally aware and culturally sensitive. As stated before, cultural awareness does not mean being culturally sensitive. If you are to have a workable environment, then it is important that all parties involved are aware of their own cultural sensitivity. To achieve this it is important that all cultures, including the 'majority culture' and any 'minor culture' take the time to understand one another and is able to empathise with one another.


One important manner of being able to create a team with cultural sensitive employees, is to create an environment where all people can see how cultural diversity affects others within society and the workplace. 


The ability of culturally sensitivity with others, enables all parties to negotiate, confer and settle any differences in terms of ideas and work. It is vital for a sufficent and healthy working environment that your own boundaries and boundaries of others can be overcome. 

Cultural Sensitivity and Others


What is Prejudice?

An unfavourable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge, thought or reason.

Prejudice has to do with the inflexible and irrational attitudes and opinions held by members of one group about another


Being prejudiced usually means having preconceived beliefs about groups of people or cultural practices. Prejudices can either be positive or negative—both forms are usually preconceived and difficult to alter. The negative form of prejudice can lead to discrimination, although it is possible to be prejudiced and not act upon the attitudes. Those who practice discrimination do so to protect opportunities for themselves by denying access to those whom they believe do not deserve the same treatment as everyone else.


What is Discrimination?

The treatment (or consideration of) making a distinction in favour or against a person (or thing) based on the group, class or category.

Discrimination is the behavior(s) directed against another group


One well‚Äźknown example of discrimination based on prejudice involves the Jews, who have endured mistreatment and persecution for thousands of years. The largest scale attempt to destroy this group of people occurred during World War II, when millions of Jews were exterminated in German concentration camps in the name of Nazi ideals of “racial purity.”



Types of Prejudice and Discrimination.

There are many forms of prejudice and discrimination. The following are not an exhaustve list. This is intended to show the main areas of prejudice and discrimination. They are as follows:


Age, Sex/Gender, Weight/Size, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Class, Colour, Country of Origin and Ability.

Prejudice and Discrimination

Scales of Prejudices


The scales of Prejudices is how we measure Prejudices within Society. It was developed by Gordon Allport in 1954. It is divided into five stages. These are the five tages:


AntilocutionAntilocution occurs when an in-group freely purports negative images of an out-group. Hate speech is included in this stage. Although antilocution itself may not be harmful, it could set the stage for more severe outlets for prejudice.


AvoidanceMembers of the in-group actively avoid people in the out-group. No direct harm may be intended, but psychological harm often results through isolation.


DiscriminationThe out-group is discriminated against by denying them opportunities and services, putting prejudice into action. Behaviors have the intention of disadvantaging the out-group by preventing them from achieving goals, getting education or jobs, etc. An example of this was Apartheid in South Africa.


Physical AttackThe in-group vandalizes, burns, or otherwise destroys out-group property and carries out violent attacks on individuals or groups. Physical harm is done to members of the out-group.


Extermination:  The in-group seeks extermination or removal of the out-group. They attempt to eliminate either the entirety or a large fraction of the undesired group of people. Examples include Nazi Germany, the Rwandan Genocide, the Armenian Genocide, and Ethnic Cleansing in the Bosnian War.






There are many types of discrimination. Discrimination can come in many forms and the list is far from exhaustive. Most forms of discrimination are quite obvious to us and many people could easily identify a moment of discrimination, or be able to explain the types of discrimination within society.


There are also three types of behaviour that do not look like discrimination, but they do infact display underlying Prejudices. These three are as follows:


Reluctance to Help:

During certain circumstances a person (or people) may refuse to assist a certain other person based upon their background. This is in a fact of form of discrimination, as the person has made a (sub)consscious effort to refuse to help someone based upon a prejudice. 



Tokenism is the practice of making only a superficial or symbolic effort to be inclusive to members of minority groups, especially by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of racial or sexual equality within a workforce. The effort of including a token employee to a workforce is usually intended to create the impression of social inclusiveness and diversity (racial, religious, sexual, etc.) in order to deflect accusations of social discrimination.


Reverse Discrimination:

This is discrimination against members of a dominant or majority group in favor of members of a minority or historically disadvantaged group. Groups may be defined in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, or other factors. This discrimination may seek to redress social inequalities under which minority groups have had less access to privileges enjoyed by the majority group.



Watch the following clips.


Do you see any form of prejudices or Discrimination?


If so, What form of Prejudice or Disrimination do you see?



Clip One


Clip Two


Clip Three

Task Five

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What are Stereotypes? 

 "to have a set idea about what a particular type of person is like, especially an idea that is wrong" Cambridge English Dictionary definition.

 A stereotype is a thought that can be adopted about specific types of individuals or certain ways of doing things. These thoughts or beliefs may or may not accurately reflect reality.


What is stereotyping?

Stereotyping is defined as an "oversimplified attitude people hold toward those outside one's own experience who are different. They are a result of incomplete or distored information accepted as fact without question. Sex, race, age, sexual orentation, religion and physical ability are various catagories which exist in stereotyping. The most prevalent and controversial forms are sex and race. 


Examples: Women are bad drivers, Police love donuts, Blonde people are dumb, White people can't dance.


Why do stereotypes exist and persist?

There are three main reasons as to why stereotypes and stereotyping continues within our society. These three reasons are:


1. Stereotypes are functionalAs audience members we are bombarded with much more information than we can process. Our tendency is to reduce complexity to simplicity. 


2. Stereotypes are results of selectivity in social perceptionWe tend to see what we expect to see, and we have a tendency to twist and distort the characteristics of others until it fits our stereotype of that particular group.


3. Prejudice: This is the most influential factor in stereotyping. Our perceptions are highly subjective, and many people subscribe to derogatory descriptions of ethnic groups. Unfortunately the selectivity of a person's perception result in people seeing what they expect to see when they come in contact with members of an ethnic group they view with prejudice.

Sterotypes and Stereotyping



Discuss the following stereotypes.

Use the following questions:


Which do you feel are positive stereotypes? Why?

Which are negative stereotypes? Why?

Are any stereotypes worse or better than other stereotypes? Why?

How do they make you feel?


  • Women are bad drivers.
  • Asians are good at Maths.
  • Black people are good at basketball.
  • British people have bad teeth.
  • French people are romantic.
  • All Jewish people are greedy, selfish money hungry people.
  • The people of Netherlands are all promiscuous and drug addicts.
  • Women like make-up.
  • All Muslims are terrorists.
  • Retirement is less difficult for women than it is for men.
  • The majority of older people are set in their ways, unable to change.

What are the Dangers of Stereotyping?

When discussing stereotypes, many people see it as harmless fun and just a way of being able to laugh at exagerated truths. However, it is important to understand that there are dangers to stereotyping people. The most obvious danger is that of the stereotyping turning into discrimination or prejudices. Like any sort of humour, a joke can go too far. It is important to realise that everyone is different and what one person finds funny, another will find offensive. This is especially true when taking into consideration cultural differences.


Another danger of stereotyping and stereotypes, is that it can lead to a 'them versus us' feeling within a group. this is detrimental within the hospitality workplace. If a team is severed into a group A and group B, it makes it near on impossible for teamwork or for tasks to be undertaken correctly and sufficently. If stereotyping gets out of hand, it can lead to absenteeism, lack of motivation, high employee turnover, financial loss and, in severe cases, law suits. 


Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true. Stereotyping can lead to the target group infact becoming the negative definition that you have given them. If you are told enough times that you are a failure, you will start believing that you are failure, then you will in fact become a failure. In other words, a positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion—declared as truth when it is actually false—may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy. 

Dangers of Stereotypes and Stereotyping

Task Six

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The following is an overview of all information from International 1: Bridging (Inter-) Cutural Diversity. This information is to help with revision and offers a summary of the entire keuzedeel. 


Link One: 

This is a presentation on culture. This is an in-depth presentation that discusses all elements on culture, culture awareness and culture sensitivty. 


Link Two:

This is a short presentation that defines culture.


Link Three 

This is a short presentation defining prejudice and discrimination.