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How would you argue for the importance of the proposed understanding of culture as opposed to the common understanding of culture?

The term "culture" is employed in many settings and poses a challenge in terms of its precise definition. Culture, according to several anthropologists, may be characterized as a term used as a means of facilitating communication within a very diverse field. The effective use and maximization of the valuable opportunities presented by cultural variety need the cultivation of a mentality that is attuned to cross-cultural dynamics, and the development of intercultural competence, particularly the acquisition of positive leadership skills (Walsh, 1993). This unit critically examines the challenges as well as possibilities presented by cultural diversity across various levels (individual, group, organization, communities), various viewpoints (cross-cultural leadership and administration, intercultural interaction, cultural competency, multicultural teams), and international contexts (Australian). This analysis critically examines the underlying assumptions, as well as the strengths and limits, of ideas and studies that serve as a foundation for informing the practice of professionals. The module expands upon the participants' existing knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity.


Australia has historically shown cultural variety, despite the implementation of the 'White Australian Program' in 1901, which aimed to restrict the entry of individuals who were non-white or of British origin, with the intention of curbing diversity inside the nation. Nevertheless, before to the implementation of the aforementioned legislation, a considerable number of immigrants were already present in Australia, alongside the pre-existing various Aboriginal groups that had established themselves. Following the conclusion of the Second World War, the Australian Government directed its attention towards the establishment of a population that would serve both national security and labor supply purposes (Shao et al., 2019). However, it became evident that the influx of British migrants did not effectively address Australia's Labor shortfall. Following this, a significant number of Europeans seeking to migrate from various European countries such as Italy, Greece, and Germany were recognized as New Australians. This marked the start of a non-discriminatory approach, thereby terminating the White Australia legislation that had been implemented and imposed by the Australian Government until 1973.


Moreover, the Western region of Sydney prominently showcases multiculturalism and super-diversity, as articulated by Steven Vertovec. This area is characterized by a significant presence of diverse ethnicities, immigration statuses, rights and entitlements, age groups, and places of settlement. These factors have become of utmost importance in society, effectively linking Australia to the global community through various avenues such as breakthroughs, culture, arts, food, and tourism, all of which are highly esteemed. In her book titled "Finding my Culinary Home," Sukhmani Khorana explores the impact of her relocation to Australia on her Indian heritage, specifically via the lens of cooking (Reid & D. Nunn, 2015). Khorana highlights the significance of food as an integral component of her cultural background. Khorana's upbringing in a conventional home influenced her worldview, but her relocation to Australia prompted a shift in perspective, enabling her to transcend her conventional Indian lifestyle and adopt a broader outlook on the world.

The Aboriginal population has inhabited Australia for a period exceeding 60,000 years. Notably, they have successfully endured significant challenges, such as the worldwide increase in sea levels around 10,000 years ago, which resulted in the loss of approximately one-seventh of Australia's original land area (Reid & Nunn, 2015). In the 18th century, the Aboriginal population was characterized by linguistic diversity, with over 250 distinct languages spoken. These languages had variations in dialect, exemplified by linguistic groups such as Ngaanyatjarra, Pitjantjatjara, Gugada, and Pintupi. The impact of Government policy on Aboriginal languages was examined. The findings revealed that a significant number of these languages, namely 160, had been extinct over time. This decline may be attributed to the pervasive influence of the English language in key domains of life, such as work and education.

The linguistic transformation in Australia subsequent to the arrival of settlers in 1788 was duly acknowledged. The rapid extinction of the Aboriginal language may be attributed to its lack of a written form, hence impeding its wider dissemination and contributing to the marginalization of the Aboriginal mother tongue. The promotion of variety is facilitated by Indigenous communities via the commemoration of distinct elements within the Aboriginal culture (Krausz, 2019). The promotion of cultural diversity within Australian society is facilitated by the practice of exogamy, which involves Aboriginal individuals marrying others from outside their kinship groupings. This deliberate intermarriage encourages the transmission of shared customs to subsequent generations, so contributing to the expansion of a more varied and inclusive Australian culture.
However, as per the Australian Census conducted in 2016, the number of native languages had declined to about 160. According to Simpson (2019), it is projected that in Australia, just 13 traditional languages will remain in existence during the next 60 years, as shown by the fact that children now communicate only in these 13 native languages. According to Walsh (2023), Australia has seen a significant loss of indigenous languages, resulting in a loss of ethnic identity linked with these languages (Khorana, 2015). The Australian government is actively engaged in efforts to revitalize indigenous languages and promote their use among individuals, particularly the younger generation. In accordance with the findings of Schurch Santana (2013), governmental intervention is being implemented within the national education system with the aim of promoting the acquisition and development of Indigenous languages.

Diversity encompasses the variations among individuals or communities, which may be attributed to a multitude of variables including geographical location, cultural background, linguistic practices, and value systems, among others. Biodiversity, including the multitude of animal and plant species, is a fundamental aspect of nature that plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological equilibrium of the world. Cultural and linguistic variety, often known as the variation in individuals based on their cultures and languages, encompasses the range of differences seen among human beings. The presence of diversity in both the natural world and human societies has played a fundamental role in the long-term success of the human species.

Throughout the course of history, the presence of variety has played a pivotal role in facilitating the prosperity of both human and animal life. This may be attributed to the capacity for flexibility inherent in genetic compositions, along with cultural as well as linguistic conventions that have emerged as a result. In ecological terminology, it is well recognized that ecosystems with high levels of biodiversity exhibit greater resilience and strength (Jovchelovitch, 2019). Diversity is intrinsically linked to stability, since the presence of a wide range of different elements is crucial for ensuring long-term existence. The human species has achieved considerable success on Earth by demonstrating a remarkable capacity to adapt to diverse environmental conditions, both in terms of atmospheric and cultural aspects, over an extended period spanning thousands of years. The aforementioned capability arises from the presence of variety.

Therefore, the presence of linguistic and cultural variety enhances the likelihood of human achievement and adaptation. Nevertheless, the Earth's terrain has given rise to several distinct communities around the globe. The proximity of different groups of individuals has contributed to the development of distinct perspectives, belief systems, and languages, together referred to as cultural and linguistic variety on a global scale (Dittmer & Bos, 2019). Cultural variety is evident when one traverses various regions around the globe since the manner in which people live and interact varies significantly across different geographical locations. Cultural variety has significant prominence within our societal framework. The global presence of variety serves as evidence that despite our shared genetic makeup as humans, our cognitive processes exhibit significant variations. Diversity is not just confined to the realm of the natural world. The concept of "diversity of life" extends beyond the scope of biodiversity. The phenomenon encompasses the wide range of cultural and linguistic variations seen among human communities. The most effective approach to combat this issue is assuming individual responsibility for preserving our culture and language, while actively advocating for their protection against the dominance of Western culture and the exclusive use of a single language.

References

Dittmer, J., & Bos, D. (2019). Popular culture, geopolitics, and identity. Rowman & Littlefield.
Jovchelovitch, S. (2019). Knowledge in context: Representations, community, and culture. Routledge.
Khorana, S. (2015). “Finding my Culinary Home: Migration, Memory and Masterchef”. Kill Your Darlings 7, pp73-79.
Krausz, M. (2019). Rightness and reasons: Interpretation in cultural practices. Cornell University Press.
Reid, N., & D. Nunn, P. (2015). Ancient Aboriginal Stories Preserve History Of A Rise In Sea Level.2022, https://theconversation.com/ancient-aboriginal-stories-preserve-history-of-a-rise-in-sea-level-36010
Shao, Y., Zhang, C., Zhou, J., Gu, T., & Yuan, Y. (2019). How does culture shape creativity? A mini-review. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1219.
Walsh, Michael. 1993. Languages and their status in Aboriginal Australia. In: Walsh, Michael & Colin Yallop (eds.), Language and Culture in Aboriginal Australia, 1-13. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

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