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Cultural diversity is the quality of diverse or different cultures, as opposed to
monoculture In agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated spe ...
, the global monoculture, or a homogenization of cultures, akin to cultural evolution. The term cultural diversity can also refer to having different cultures respect each other's differences. Moreover, it is often used to mention the variety of human
societies A society is a group of individuals involved in persistent social interaction In social science, a social relation or social interaction is any relationship between two or more individuals. Social relations derived from individual agenc ...
or
culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

culture
s in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. It refers to the inclusion of different cultural perspectives in an organization or society.


History

At the international level, the notion of cultural diversity has been defended by the
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an ...
since its founding in 1945 by various countries. The
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop frie ...
was established in November 2001 by the
United Nations General Assembly The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA or GA; french: link=no, Assemblée générale, AG) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), serving as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN. Its ...
following the
Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity The Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity is a declaration adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at its thirty-first session on 2 November 2001 This Declaration is ...
of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
. Its objective is to promote
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms within the same species, and encompasses any behavior in which one member affects the other. This is due to an int ...

cultural
diversity,
dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. ...
and
development Development or developing may refer to: Arts *Development hell, when a project is stuck in development *Filmmaking#Development, Filmmaking, development phase, including finance and budgeting *Development (music), the process thematic material i ...
. It is being held on May 21. In September 2002, the city of
Porto Alegre Porto Alegre (, , Brazilian ; ) is the capital and largest city of the Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5&nbs ...

Porto Alegre
in Brazil organized a world meeting for culture, bringing together mayors and technical directors of culture from different cities of the world, with the participation of observers from civil society. The cities of Porto Alegre and Barcelona have proposed the drafting of a reference document for the development of local cultural policies, inspired by "
Agenda 21 Agenda 21 is a non-binding action planAn action plan is a detailed plan A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with details of timing and resources, used to achieve an Goal, objective to do something. It is commonly understood as a ...
", created in 1992 for the environment. The
Culture 21 Culture 21, also known as Agenda 21 for culture, is a program for cultural governance developed in 2002–2004 and organized by United Cities and Local Governments. Part of the program's premise is to add culture as a fourth conceptual pillar of ...
was thus designed with the aim of including cultural diversity at the local level. The document was approved on May 8, 2004 during the first edition of the
Universal Forum of Cultures The Universal Forum of Cultures ( ca, Fòrum de les Cultures, es, Fórum de las culturas) is an international cultural event intended to take place every three years. This event is organized by Forum Foundation. The first Forum was held in Barc ...
in
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
(Spain). In 2003,
James Fearon James D. Fearon (born 1963) is the Theodore and Francis Geballe Professor of Political Science at Stanford University , mottoeng = "The wind of freedom blows" , type = Private university, Private research university , academic_affiliations = ...
, an American professor at
Stanford University Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Du ...

Stanford University
published "Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country" in the "Journal of Economic Growth", a list of countries based on the diversity of
ethnicities An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousne ...
,
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
s and
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
s. In 2005, the
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by so ...
was adopted in October 2005 by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
in order to protect cultural diversity in the face of
cultural homogenizationCultural homogenization is an aspect of cultural globalization, listed as one of its main characteristics, and refers to the reduction in cultural diversity through the popularization and diffusion of a wide array of cultural symbols—not only physi ...
by
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
,
free trade Free trade is a trade policy A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and servic ...
and
international trade International trade is the exchange of capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscul ...
. The convention defines cultural diversity as referring to the manifold ways in which the cultures of groups and societies find expression. These expressions are passed on within and among groups and societies.


Characteristics

Cultural diversity can take several meanings: * A balance to be achieved: thus, the idea of defense of cultural diversity through the promotion of actions in favor of "cultural minorities" said to be disadvantaged * Preservation of "cultural minorities" thought to be endangered * "Cultural protection" or " cultural exception" defends the social vision of culture against its commercialization. The cultural exception highlights the specificity of cultural products and services, including special recognition by the European Union in its Declaration on Cultural Diversity. In this context, the objective is to defend against what is seen as a "
commodification Within a capitalist Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a ...
"—considered harmful to a "disadvantaged" culture—supporting its development through grants, promotion operations, etc., also known as "cultural protectionism" * This defense may also refer to incorporating "cultural rights" provisions, conducted unsuccessfully in the early 1990s in Europe, into a layer of the human rig. Diversity refers to the attributes that people use to confirm themselves with respect to others, “that person is different from me.” These attributes include demographic factors (such as race, gender, and age) as well as values and cultural norms. The many separate societies that emerged around the globe differ markedly from each other, and many of these differences persist to this day. The more obvious cultural differences that exist between people are language, dress, and traditions. There are also significant variations in the way societies organize themselves, such as in their shared conception of
morality Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intention Intentions are mental states in which the agent commits themselves to a course of action. Having the plan to visit the zoo tomorrow is an example of an intention. The action plan is the '' ...

morality
, religious belief, and in the ways, they interact with their environment. Cultural diversity can be seen as analogous to
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
. By analogy with biodiversity, which is thought to be essential to the long-term survival of life on earth, it can be argued that cultural diversity may be vital for the long-term survival of humanity; and that the conservation of
indigenous culture Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the b ...
s may be as important to humankind as the conservation of species and
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syst ...

ecosystem
s is to life in general. The General Conference of
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
took this position in 2001, asserting in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity that ''"...cultural diversity is as necessary for humankind as biodiversity is for nature."''


Quantification

Cultural diversity is difficult to quantify, but a good indication is thought to be a count of the number of languages spoken in a region or in the world as a whole. By this measure, we may be going through a period of the precipitous decline in the world's cultural diversity. Research carried out in the 1990s by
David Crystal David Crystal, (born 6 July 1941) is a British , academic, and author. Family Crystal was born in , Northern Ireland, on 6 July 1941 after his mother had been . Before he reached the age of one, his parents separated. He remained estranged fr ...

David Crystal
(Honorary Professor of
Linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

Linguistics
at the
University of Wales, Bangor , former_names = University College of North Wales (1884–1996) University of Wales, Bangor (1996–2007) , image_name = File:Bangor University logo.jpg , image_size = 250px , motto = cy, Gorau Dawn Deall , mottoeng = "T ...
) suggested that at that time, on average, one language was falling into disuse every two weeks. He calculated that if that rate of the
language death In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the met ...
were to continue, then by the year 2100, more than 90% of the languages currently spoken in the world will have gone extinct.
Overpopulation Overpopulation or overabundance occurs when a species' population In biology, a population is a number of all the organisms of the same group or species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classifica ...
,
immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...

immigration
, and
imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing hard power Hard power is the use of military and economics, economi ...

imperialism
(of both the militaristic and
cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling diff ...
kind) are reasons that have been suggested to explain any such decline. However, it could also be argued that with the advent of globalism, a decline in cultural diversity is inevitable because information sharing often promotes homogeneity and in a society where many people from different cultural backgrounds are living, mutual understanding is essential to promote a future with appreciative cultural diversity. In a recent literature review on quantitative approaches to cultural diversity, scholars have proposed models for weighted diversity indices that assign differential values to key parameters, including not only of language but also belief templates and ethnic profiles or associated cultural backgrounds.


Controversies

In the same manner that the promotion of poverty in underdeveloped nations as "cultural diversity" is
unethical Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy that "involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong action (philosophy), behavior".''Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy'"Ethics"/ref> The field of ethics, alo ...

unethical
. It is unethical to promote all religious practices simply because they are seen to contribute to cultural diversity. Particular religious practices are recognized by the WHO and UN as unethical, including
female genital mutilation Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting, female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and female circumcision, is the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the . The practice is found in some countries of Afric ...
,
polygamy Polygamy (from Greek language, Late Greek , ''polygamía'', "state of marriage to many spouses") is the practice of marriage, marrying multiple spouses. When a man is married to more than one wife at the same time, sociologists call this poly ...
, child brides, and
human sacrifice Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more humans as part of a ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be ...
. With the onset of globalization, traditional nation-states have been placed under enormous pressure. With the development of technology, information and capital are transcending geographical boundaries and reshaping the relationships between the marketplace, states, and citizens. In particular, the growth of the mass media industry has largely impacted individuals and societies across the globe. Although beneficial in some ways, this increased accessibility has the capacity to negatively affect a society's individuality. With information being so easily distributed throughout the world, cultural meanings, values, and tastes run the risk of becoming homogenized. As a result, the strength of the identity of individuals and societies may begin to weaken. The controversial implication of
cultural relativism Cultural relativism is the idea that a person's beliefs and practices should be understood based on that person's own culture. Proponents of cultural relativism also tend to argue that the norms and values of one culture should not be evaluated u ...
includes the idea that social norms are infallible and no individual can challenge them on moral grounds, that every moral code held by a culture is just as acceptable as any other even if it contains prejudices such as racism or sexism, and the impossibility of moral progress due to the lack of universal standards according to which a society's norms may be judged. Due to its logical flaws and controversial implications, cultural relativism failed to attract widespread acceptance among ethical philosophers.


Cultural Diversity on Western Balkan countries

In 2005 the relations of EU and Western Balkan countries were passed from “External Relations” to “Enlargement” policy. As WB countries make steps forward in the future membership of the EU, the diversity in society within the WB is expected to increase further. It is important to see the relationship between cultural diversity and ethnic fractionalization from one side and governance, competitiveness, and human development from the other side. Even though the literature argues that cultural diversity has a negative impact on countries’ performance, the study of Hysa (2020) finds out that highly homogenous societies in WB are no more prone to good governance, global competitiveness and human development than highly heterogeneous societies within the region. In other words, countries with lower fractionalization index (such as Kosovo and Serbia) do not show a significantly higher performance than countries with higher fractionalization indexes (such as Macedonia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina). Thus, the influence of regional geographic distance seems to be much more significant compared to cultural diversity because the economic capacity and performance of WB countries are found to be positive but still modest. The Western Balkan countries are having a considerable mixture of ethnicities, languages, and religions. These varieties can push this group of countries to have a consensus among them in the economic aspects or to increase the gap among each other.


See also

*
Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions Convention may refer to: * Convention (norm), a custom or tradition, a standard of presentation or conduct ** Treaty A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by so ...
*
Coolitude __NOTOC__ Coolitude is a term coined by Mauritian poet Khal Torabully to describe the cultural interaction of the Indian or Chinese "coolie" diaspora, and by extension also similar migrations. It refers to a Transculturation, transcultural process ...
*
Criticism of multiculturalism Criticism of multiculturalism questions the ideal of the maintenance of distinct ethnic cultures within a country. Multiculturalism is a particular subject of debate in certain European nations that are associated with the idea of a nation stat ...
*
Cross-cultural communicationCross-cultural may refer to *cross-cultural studies Cross-cultural studies, sometimes called holocultural studies or comparative studies, is a specialization in anthropology Anthropology is the Science, scientific study of humanity, concerned ...
* Cultural footprint * Cultural psychiatry *
Cultural rights The cultural rights movement has provoked attention to protect the rights of groups of people, or their culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, a ...
* Cultural safety *
Foundation for Endangered Languages The Foundation for Endangered Languages is a non-profit organization, registered as Charity 1070616 in England and Wales, founded in 1996. Its current chairman is Nicholas Ostler. It exists to support, enable, and assist the documentation, protecti ...
* Heritage Day (South Africa) *
Intercultural relationsIntercultural Relations, sometimes called Intercultural Studies, is a relatively new formal field of social science studies. It is a practical, multi-field discipline designed to train its students to understand, communicate, and accomplish specifi ...
*
Melting pot The melting pot is a monocultural metaphor for a heterogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the sciences Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languag ...

Melting pot
* Mondialogo *
Multiculturalism The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes r ...

Multiculturalism
*
Purple economyThe purple economy is that part of the economy An economy (from Greek language, Greek οίκος – "household" and νέμoμαι – "manage") is an area of the Production (economics), production, Distribution (economics), distribution and tra ...
*
Respect diversity The prerogative to respect diversity, often said to "begin with biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, sp ...
*
Social cohesion Group cohesiveness (also called group cohesion and social cohesion) arises when bonds link members of a social group In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar chara ...
*
Social integration Social integration is the process during which newcomers or minorities are incorporated into the social structure of the host society. Social integration, together with economic integration Economic integration is the unification of economic po ...
*
Solidarity Solidarity is an awareness of shared interests, objectives, standards, and sympathies creating a psychological sense of unity of groups or classes, which rejects the class conflict Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class ...

Solidarity
*
Subculture A subculture is a group of people within a culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, ...
*
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development The World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development is a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop frie ...
;Cultural diversity in Wikimedia Foundation: * m:Grants:Start/Goals#Support diversity * wp:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-12-09/Op-ed#What beliefs are at the core of Wikidata? Is it a database like any other?


Sources


References


External links


UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005)UNESCO Global Alliance for Cultural DiversityVideo on intercultural dialogue and the use of the ICT for literacy
{{Culture
Diversity Diversity, diversify, or diverse may refer to: Business *Diversity (business) The "business case for diversity" stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. The original model for diversity was situ ...
Diversity Diversity, diversify, or diverse may refer to: Business *Diversity (business) The "business case for diversity" stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. The original model for diversity was situ ...
Diversity Diversity, diversify, or diverse may refer to: Business *Diversity (business) The "business case for diversity" stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. The original model for diversity was situ ...
Diversity Diversity, diversify, or diverse may refer to: Business *Diversity (business) The "business case for diversity" stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. The original model for diversity was situ ...
Diversity Diversity, diversify, or diverse may refer to: Business *Diversity (business) The "business case for diversity" stems from the progression of the models of diversity within the workplace since the 1960s. The original model for diversity was situ ...
UNESCO Multiculturalism Majority–minority relations