Watching for microaggression was fairly easy this week. The very first one happened right in my own home. The other day, my husband was on the phone trying to take care of an issue about an order we made at Walmart.com. He had already made 2 calls and the problem was yet to be resolved. I noticed his tone was rather gruff and he asked the person on the phone to connect him to a manager, one that spoke English please. My jaw dropped down and I just stared at him. It was especially interesting since he proof reads all of my papers or spelling and grammar so he is aware of the things we are studying. When he got off the phone I asked him what that comment was about. He said that the girl spoke very poor English and he knew she wouldn't be able to understand what he was explaining since he had tried it with two other people previously. He said it was a waste of his time and hers to continue and that he wanted to talk with someone who would understand what he was saying.
He suddenly looked up and asked "Is that one of those microaggressions you were writing about"? Ah yeah ya think. He had good intentions, he didn't want to waste her time or his trying to explain it again when he felt she was just going to have to transfer him anyway. But he should have tried, assuming that she wouldn't be able to help him because of her accent was very wrong. A little diversity awareness going on in my home this week!
Saturday, May 19, 2012
I asked three friends to describe what culture and diversity meant. I got very similar answers from all of them. My friend Desirela, who would be considered from a different culture than me said that culture was a society where evvalues and customs and traditions that keep a group together. She said that diversity is the difference within the group.
Michele answered that culture is the type of lifestyle that a community lives by and diversity is several cultures living together on one common ground. I think her answer is also in line with what we are learning. Culture is about your community and how you live as well as your individual family.
I think something that was omitted was how everyone’s unique experiences affect their perception of culture and diversity. Until this class, I would not have thought to include all the aspects of my individual life as part of my culture. I would have simply said I was Caucasian, now I realize that my social identities within that culture make me who I am.
Listening to the definitions of my friends I find it interesting that they included comments about traditions and rules communities in their definitions of culture. Those understood rules of a culture that are unspoken are some of the most difficult things to learn when you leave your own family and go out into the world. There is a wonderful book “Bridges out of Poverty” in it the author talks about the unspoken rules of poverty, middle class and wealth and how these rules can trip up both the person living in poverty and a person from another socioeconomic status who is trying to work with the person in poverty. eryone has the same values and rules on how they should live. This is consistent with what we are learning. A family’s culture does set rules and boundaries for itself.
My friend Tiffany who is a psychology student said that culture is a common set of
Ruby, P., Philip, D., & Terie, D. S. (2001). Bridges out of poverty. Highlands TX: Aha Process Inc.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
If there were a major disaster in the United States and I had to relocate with my family to another country, I would be devastated. Being allowed to bring only three small personal items would be very difficult. As I look around the room right now, there are so many things I have that I take for granted.
I think the first thing that I would take with me is my mp3 player. Music is an important part of my life and culture and I would want to have all of my music in the new country as it would remind me of my former home.
The second thing I would take with me to a new country would be my photo album. Having pictures of all of the relatives and our homes would help me remember the good times that we celebrate here. In my new country having these pictures would bring a sense of security.
The third thing I would bring with me would be my Kindle. I love to read and having books in my home language would help me feel at home in a new country where they will probably not speak English. I would find comfort in reading stories about my home country with characters that are similar to me.
If when I got to the new country I was told that I could only keep one item it would be the mp3 player. Music for me makes an emotional connection. Memories are tied to music for me, and hearing those songs would help keep my past alive for me. I would be very sad to lose the books though, It would be a tough choice between music and books, but it the end I would have to go with music.
This exercise made me realize that there are many things in my life such as music and books that I take for granted. Yesterday if someone had asked me to describe my culture I would not have said anything about either of those items, yet in this exercise, they are the two things I could not leave behind. Interesting.