Discussion Assignment: Deep Culture, Cultural Discontinuity, and Power

Your studies of culture and diversity have resulted in a rich collection of definitions, concepts, and practical implications. Three resources this week reflect additional facets of the complexity of culture: In the video as well as in the corresponding book excerpt, Janet Gonzalez-Mena discusses culture and explains what it means to be culturally responsive. And, Ngo’s article refers to the troublesome effects of over-simplifying other people’s cultural contexts.

To prepare for this Discussion Assignment,

  • Review the video “Thinking about Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness,” the excerpt from Gonzalez-Mena’s book Diversity in Early Care and Education, and Ngo’s article “Beyond culture clash”
  • Pay particular attention to the ways in which the authors address deep culture, cultural visibility and invisibility, cultural continuity and discontinuity, as well as the connection between culture and power
  • Consider the following:
    • Specific ways in which knowledge about “deep” culture enhances your understanding of yourself and other
    • An example of cultural invisibility (one that happened to you, someone you know, or an instance you witnessed), and your reaction(s) to this experience
    • An example of cultural discontinuity (one that happened to you, someone you know, or an instance of cultural discontinuity you witnessed), and your reaction(s) to this experience
    • A memory when you, as a young child, felt (or did not feel) safe, nurtured, visible, and /or empowered, and your reaction(s) to this experience
    • A memory when you, as a family member or caretaker, felt (or did not feel) visible and /or empowered in your interaction with someone you consider an “authority figure or someone of importance to you such as an early childhood professional, and your reaction(s) to this experience

By Wednesday:

Post

  • Your response to at least three of the statements above.
  • A summary of the ways in which the points you chose to discuss add to your understanding of diversity and equity as it relates to the health and well-being of young children and their families.

Video: Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Culture and diversity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.
In this program, Janet Gonzalez-Mena talks about the concepts of diversity and cultural responsiveness.

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