2.26.2011

Defining the Pervasive Nature of Culture, Race and Ethnicity in the Modern Workplace


Defining the Pervasive Nature of Culture, Race and Ethnicity in the Modern Workplace
Elizabeth Hall

Image Source Page: http://careersoutthere.com/workplace-diversity-an-ongoing-process/

Introduction
In modern society’s fast paced technological world the amount of global collaboration and number of people of different nationalities entering our country to work are increasing with each decade.  According to Diversity Inc. (2010), the labor force of the United States is diversifying so rapidly that by the year 2016 70 percent of the workforce will be a minority.  Also according to Diversity Inc (2010), when the year 2043 rolls around Caucasians will represent less than half of the population in the United States.  This presents new challenges to law enforcement as the neighborhoods of their jurisdictions become more diverse in population, along with new challenges for employers.  While multicultural diversity does bring many positive things to society, the cultural racial and ethnic differences that accompany the social and professional collaborations are rife with issues ranging from law enforcement problems to employer problems as people try to comingle and cohabitate in the workplace and society.  (Shusta, 2008)
Law Enforcement Challenges
The nature of the challenges that law enforcement agencies face in this multicultural society are twofold. The first challenge is internal involving cultural, racial and ethnicity when minority recruits join the force.  In today’s society, there are more and more minorities such as women, homosexuals, and ethnic groups entering the workforce than ever before.  The community policing style that we have adapted, according to Shusta (2008), denotes that we use officers in each jurisdiction that represent the demographics of the people living in the community. 
This means diverse law enforcement agencies as well and problems between staff due to cultural, racial, gender, or ethnic differences.  Racism in policing has been an issue since the first black officer was sworn in Brooklyn, Wiley G. Overton.  According to Shusta (2008), this issue is still happening according to the book Black in Blue: African-American police officers and racism. Many have complained that their Caucasian fellow officers treat them as if they are less motivated and less intelligent than other officers are. 
.One of the most predominant issues management of a law enforcement agency has to face is when the minority is a female officer.  Gender discrimination becomes more noticeable in workplaces such as law enforcement agencies, which have histories of been predominantly staffed by an all men and still are as of this writing.  Women, who take these positions, are often ridiculed or ignored by their fellow officers.  The racial, cultural, and ethnic differences that cause problems and prejudices internally in the police also spill over in their work with the community, which is the third issue in the problems that law enforcement must deal with daily.  (Shusta, 2008).
Conderoni (2002), states that the majority of major civil cases, ninety percent, are the direct result of conflicts involving citizens and police.  These cases are expensive, and often end badly with personal injury, death, or loss of property.  Many of these issues could have been avoided.  The worst part is that all of these issues could have been handled better and the solution to all is the same (Coderoni, 2002)
Solutions to These Challenges
In all of these issues discussed, had multicultural training been issued, the officers involved would have known how to handle the situation at hand.  In all instances it was prejudice that may have been ingrained all of their lives that caused the situation.  It could also have been prejudice, resulting from the years of law enforcement service jading their perspective.  With the right training, people can open their minds to a new perspective, because everything is relevant to what our personal perception decides the situation really is.  In order to achieve multicultural harmony, people must realize, that despite our differences, there is always some common ground that could be reached.  (Shusta, 2008)
Pervasive Nature of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity
In our fast paced connected world, culture, race and ethnicity pervades all of our lives.   Whether it is going to a fast food restaurant and ordering from a Hispanic that barely speaks English, or, are executives, trying to close a deal everyone is affected by the diversity of a population according to Shusta (2008).  If you do not understand the customs of someone in our global world you just may unknowingly blown your business deal by not observing the right custom and offending your perspective client.  Likewise, if you offend the person preparing your food at a restaurant, they are likely to spit in your food.

Conclusion
In our ever changing and connecting lives, we are becoming a more diverse world.  As new technology develops we are able to achieve more things faster.  Because of this, we have more multicultural people entering our communities and workplaces increasingly.  This presents challenges for law enforcement because if they have no multicultural training, often a situation develops just because of misunderstanding each other’s intentions, for certain ideas, practices or customs.  While multicultural diversity does bring many positive things to society, the cultural racial and ethnic differences that accompany the social and professional collaborations are rife with issues ranging from law enforcement problems to employer problems as people try to comingle and cohabitate in the workplace and society.  These issues could all be solved with multicultural training to better equip our law enforcement with the tools they need to succeed in an ever changing world.  (Shusta, 2008)
  
References:
Coderoni, G.R. (2002).  Perspective: The relationship between multicultural training for police and effective law enforcement.  Retrieved From: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/law-enforcement-bulletin/2002-pdfs/nov02leb.pdf

Diversity Inc.  (2010). Diversity Recruitment/Retention.  Retrieved From: http://www.diversityinc.com/department/39/Diversity-Recruitment-Retention/
            Shusta, R. (2008).  Multicultural law enforcement: Strategies for peacekeeping in a diverse                                         
                         society (4th ed.).  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.



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2 comments:

  1. I think the best training is personal experience and integration with people of other cultures. I think this is the only way to break previously conditioned social and cultural "racial" misconceptions and enhance understanding of differences. Historically those who have sought to divide and rule, have used this truth to prevent humanisation and maintain conflict.

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  2. I think you are right, as it has been my own personal experience that misinformation and social and cultural radical misconceptions is to give the other culture a chance through personal experience. The problem lies in getting people to take the first step away from their previous social and cultural mis-training.

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All comments and feedback appreciated!

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