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Diversity Paper

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Essay title: Diversity Paper

Diversity

Behavior is best defined as the unique behaviors, emotions and thought processes of an individual including the way that he or she interacts with others. While much of behavior may be thought to be innate, there are also external factors that can impact an individual’s behavior. These factors have diversity and demographic characteristics; four of these factors will be discussed in this paper and the impact each has on individuals will be shown. Religion, personality traits, age and gender are thought to have the greatest impacts and therefore providing the best opportunity for discussion.

Religion

Since the beginning of documented history individuals have held strong to their religious beliefs and the right to practice religion in their own ways. As a result of various religions in society people have been hated and persecuted for their religious choices. Examples of this hatred and persecution are the Nazi concentration camps where thousands of Jews were killed, the Crusades in the middle-ages, and more recently the terrorist attacks of September 11. Some may wonder what relation such catastrophes have to the practice of religious freedoms; the answer can often be found in the influence of the messengers or leaders of certain religious orders. Since many religious followers believe that their religious leaders; such as priests, rabbis, popes, and prophets posses the true power of God, they go to great lengths to follow them.

Since religion is often used to reinforce the cultural rules and values of society, eventually religion sets the stage for individuals to gain a sense of community and belonging. However, religion is not viewed positively by all; especially when religious practices tend to conflict with societal norms. A few of these conflicts may be religions that do not celebrate Christmas, religions that require women to keep themselves covered outside of their homes and the practice of polygamy. While these particular customs may not cause any major conflicts, those that practice them may become the source of ridicule or even forced to live in separate communities where they can practice freely.

Personality Traits

Personality can be defined as patterns of a person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors in various situations. In its most basic form personality is attitude, values and interests. Personality traits can also be known as behavioral differences. Understanding and appreciating the diverse personalities of others can help people to interact and know why one person might act or respond in a certain way. This appreciation of personality diversity gives respect to the quirks and differences of individuals therefore respecting these differences as strengths.

A person’s personality traits develop for various reasons. These reasons can stem from the interactions of an individual with the environment along with biological influences. These environmental influences can be living during segregated times, being reared in a single-parent family along with living in a household with an income below the poverty level. Each of these environmental influences could lead an individual to harbor negative feelings for those of other races or feel a sense of longing to fit in. Having a group consisting of individuals from diverse backgrounds working together can be an asset when used properly. With the varying views and opinions new ideas will be created while some old prejudices and opinions will be dismissed.

Age

Unlike the previous factors discussed in this paper, age is a factor that can not be camouflaged behind good intentions or assimilation. Age is normally evident from the first meeting and allows opportunity for prejudice and discrimination. Some may hold negative views of an older individual especially in their hiring practices. As a result of these negative views The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was created. The act made it unlawful to deny employment, assignments or benefits to an individual solely due to their age. While it may be thought that this discrimination applied only to the elderly, it also applies to

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