Definition of Cultural Diversity

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Definition of Cultural Diversity

Universally, there is no acclaimed definition of cultural diversity; however, anthropologists approve of it as a way of conducting affairs by different ethnic groups and races across the world. In order to comprehend the meaning of cultural diversity, it is important to break it into its major components. Consequently, differences in cultures worldwide are because of variation in economic and social activities of dissimilar ethnic classifications and races.As opined by Chryssochoou (2004), a vivid way of giving meaning to cultural diversity is through sampling of economic activities in different parts of the world. He asserts that the economic activity is influenced by geographical and climatic factors. As a result of this, people living in polar, desert, plain, mountainous, semi-arid, lake-side, and forest regions have adopted different ways of sustaining themselves. Mostly, the resources present in a geographical region determine whether inhabitants of that locality adopt farming, hunting, fishing, mining, and trading among others as their major economic activity, which ultimately constitute their culture (Parvis, 2007). As a result, there is cultural diversity. Parvis (2007) explained that cultural diversity can be well understood from the social aspects of communities worldwide. He explains that how people conduct themselves socially is due to influence of beliefs and traditions they have inherited from their forefathers. According to Siapera (2010), these inherited beliefs and practices influence religion, marriage, food, attire, and morals, which are fundamental components of any society in the world. Chryssochoou (2004) admits that due to globalization, erosion of some inherited social activities has occurred through interactions of communities. However, Parvis (2007) affirms that large proportions of the societies still exercise their original traditions. Therefore, it is because of these social differences that diversity of cultures exists. To wrap it up, attempts by anthropologists to establish and document all the cultures in the world has not been successful due to its diversity. Nonetheless, most of them define cultural diversity as a variation in social and economic conduct of different communities globally that portray their uniqueness.


Chryssochoou, X. (2004). Cultural Diversity: Its Social Psychology. Oxford : Blackwell.

Parvis, L. (2007). Understanding Cultural Diversity in Today’s Complex World. Morrisville, NC: Lulu Press.

Siapera, E. (2010). Cultural Diversity and Global Media: The Mediation of Difference. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell.