9 junio, 2024

What is Social Diversity?

The social diversity It is a concept that defines and encompasses the great variety of different and similar characteristics that are shared among all human beings, both personally and as a group. A country is said to be socially diverse when its inhabitants or residents have different physical and cultural characteristics.

It is the range or extent in which a community manages to fairly and successfully integrate the largest number of groups of individuals with different traits and particularities, where all enjoy the same rights and exercise the same duties.

The dimensions in which the human race exhibits its individual or collective differences are more and more; fact that makes this topic both controversial and trending, because currently societies around the world are re-shaped based on this.

With countries becoming more diverse, ideas and understanding of social diversity continue to evolve and expand, driven by the access everyone has to interact with more people around the world through digital media.

Mostly there is talk of differences of gender, race, ethnicity, age, religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, language, sexual orientation, sexual identity, culture, geographical origin, disabilities, among others.

But it has been extended to also include in these topics the different types of knowledge, background, experience, interests, occupation, profession and even aspects of personality. All with a view to a society that is as inclusive and functional as possible.


Social diversity: the same or different?

Humans are as similar as they are diverse. For this reason, it has not been easy to decide among all these dimensions which are the most decisive or valuable for conducting empirical studies; especially among geneticists and social scientists.

However, in the media and political circles many standards, discursive terminologies and propositions accepted by the international community and by Human Rights Associations are currently handled.

The definition is one of them, which in social contexts will always be linked to certain concepts that are fundamentally opposed, such as equality, equity, variety and differences.

There are numerous controversial debates about the human nature of an individual identifying as different from others and demanding respect to/for their differences, but at the same time identifying as equal to another (or member of a particular group) and subsequently demanding to be treated as equal. everyone else.

In this particular, there are many discussions directed at the ethical, moral and legal difficulties of reaching the goal of true global social equality, when all the members are so different and each time they defend their differences with more force.

Better approaches have been achieved to deal with these issues, coining concepts such as «equal opportunities», «social awareness» and «social responsibility», which better protects and defends diversity, but also reinforces the rights and duties of all for equal.

In this way, it seeks to work to reduce the distrust that social minorities have in systems and institutions, such as laws, education and justice.

At the same time, it makes them aware of the individual responsibilities of their decisions as members of a society.

Dimensions in social diversity

There are many obvious and visible dimensions in which the human is diverse: height, weight, age, hair, color, among others.

But in the world of social relations and people’s self-concepts, the dimensions that are handled the most—and in which people reflect or identify the most—are race and, particularly, sex.

From a human communicative platform, the analyzes and studies on the dimensions of social diversity focus on people’s self-concepts, their own perception and of the world, and expectations.

The levels at which these three human communicative approaches are developed are explained below.

– Intrapersonal dimension

Self-concepts are the basis for intrapersonal communication, because it determines how a person sees himself and how he orients himself towards others. Also called self-knowledge or self-awareness, it involves beliefs, values, and attitudes.

The beliefs they are basic personal orientations towards what is true or false, good or bad. They can be descriptive or prescriptive.

The values they are orientations and ideals deeply seated in people. They are generally consistent and based on beliefs, right or wrong ideas and actions.

The attitudes They are learned predispositions for or against a given issue. They are generally consistently rooted in values, and tend to be global and typically emotional.

Beliefs, values ​​and attitudes influence behavior, which functions as a mode of communication for all ideas within the person. It can manifest as an opinion (spoken or written) or with a physical action.

Some psychologists include the physical image, since it also communicates how the person perceives himself, positively or negatively, depending on the social standards of the culture.

Self-concepts are also influenced by personal attributes, talents, social role, including the order at birth.

The perception of the world is also based on beliefs, values ​​and attitudes. Internal and external perception are so interrelated that they feed each other, creating a harmonious and constant understanding of being and environment.

– Interpersonal dimension

The way relationships develop between one person and another is the focus of interpersonal communication, and it all starts from the family nucleus.

Long and close relationships between family members are based on the fact that they share similar values, beliefs and rituals.

This varies between spouses, parents and children, between siblings and between the wide range of kinship with the rest of the family, which lately shows the first platform of diverse thoughts and lifestyles relating harmoniously.

Then the circles of communication are expanded in educational institutions and organizations, where close personal or work relationships are established (between friends, colleagues, between employee and employer).

Additionally, some social scholars include impersonal communication, based on the quality of the relationship.

This involves short exchanges with a store clerk, a neighbor in the elevator, with a waiter, among others. Everything is building a diversity of patterns of acceptance and social expectation.

– Cultural and inter-cultural dimension

Social norms are the guides (or limitations) of the relationships between people and groups in a society. They are the rules that groups establish for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

They can be implicit or explicit. They indicate how it is accepted to do things, dress, speak, etc. This varies over time, between different age groups, between social classes and between social groups.

The wide range of diversity of attitudes and behaviors from one culture to another indicates the extent of their own cultural norms.

Social behavior works best when everyone knows what is accepted and expected by the other.

Norms can restrict and control people, but they also lubricate the social machinery towards the harmony of the parties.

Here, awareness and social responsibility play a very important role, from which concepts such as respect, acceptance and tolerance derive.


Cage Innoye (2015). Social Diversity, 4 Levels of Society, Subsumes and Family. Various Philosophy. Retrieved from diversephilosophy.blogspot.com.
Berry CJ (1952). Social Diversity and the Meaning of History (Online document). Hume, Hegel and Human Nature – International Archives of the History of Ideas, vol 103. Springer, Dordrecht. Retrieved from link.springer.com.
Dania Santana (2017). What Is Diversity And How I Define It In The Social Context. Embracing Diversity. Retrieved from embracingdiversity.us.
Amna Haneef (2014). Social Diversity (online document). SlideShare. Retrieved from slideshare.net.
David Weedmark. Multiculturalism & Social Diversity in the Criminal Justice System. Chron. Retrieved from work.chron.com.
Office of Multicultural Affairs. Diversity and Social Justice – A glossary of working definitions (Online document). University of Massachusetts Lowell. Retrieved from uml.edu.

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