Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and Opportunities (2nd Edition)

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9780130491114: Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and Opportunities (2nd Edition)

This empowering study on human diversity helps readers develop the ability to understand, respect, and value diversity—i.e., raise their “diversity consciousness” —and demonstrates how opening one's mind to the views of other peoples and cultures is central for a quality education and successful career. Personalizing the learning experience by weaving a wide variety of real-life student experiences and perspectives throughout the book, it discusses topics in a style that promotes self-reflection and dialogue, and uses an approach to diversity that is balanced, comprehensive, well-integrated, and relevant to achieving one¿s life goals. KEY TOPICS Complete with self-reflective journal questions and interactive exercises, it offers thorough and current discussions on diversity and workplace issues—what they are, their significance, and their relevance to the reader; discusses concepts such as teamwork, conflict management, leadership, racism, prejudice, and communication in a clear and concise fashion; and zeroes in on the relationship between an employee's success in the workplace and his/her ability to develop flexibility in their thinking so that he/she can positively and effectively deal with a variety of diversity issues. A useful guide to raising diversity consciousness.

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About the Author:

Dr. Richard Bucher is a Professor of Sociology at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). He has been nationally recognized for his teaching excellence and teaches a variety of courses, including Introductory Sociology, Cultural Diversity in the Workplace, and Race and Ethnic Relations. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education honored him as the 2000 Maryland Professor of the Year. The National Institute far Staff and Organization Development also honored him for teaching excellence. He served as the first Director of BCCC's Institute for Intercultural Understanding (IIU). Under his leadership, the IIU gained national recognition as an innovative diversity education program. Dr. Bucher received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Howard University, with a concentration in race and ethnic relations. We encourage you to visit his website at http://www.diversityconsciousness.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Not long ago, I happened to pick up a magazine that featured this advertisement: "Life without technology isn't an option." As we begin the twenty-first century, it is becoming increasingly apparent that life without diversity is not an option either. Our personal worlds are expanding as people and cultures throughout the world become more and more interconnected. Human diversity, in its many shapes, forms, and colors, is an integral part of our everyday life. As a result, each of us desperately needs to develop our diversity consciousness: our awareness, understanding, and skills in the area of diversity.

Diversity consciousness is important for a number of reasons. It allows us to appreciate and enjoy the infinite variety of people and lifestyles that are part of our expanding social world. More specifically, we will increase our knowledge and stretch our thinking. By learning to interpret events through different cultural lenses, we will be able to think critically and adapt to a large variety of situations. Because of our ability to communicate and team with different kinds of people, we will be more successful at work, school, and in other realms of life.

This book is an outgrowth of my personal and professional experiences during the past 35 years. From the beginning, I have wrestled with the subject of diversity intellectually and emotionally. I attended Howard University, a historically black institution, to pursue my studies in the area of race and ethnic relations and earn my doctorate degree. As a white male, this experience radically altered my thinking about diversity. My experiences as a college professor have also been invaluable. For the past 28 years, I have taught students from a rich variety of cultures and backgrounds at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). More than anything, this experience has taught me the importance of listening carefully to my students and appreciating their diversity. It has also made me look inward, into my own thoughts, feelings, and behavior. In addition to my teaching, I served as the first Director of BCCC's Institute for InterCultural Understanding (IIU). Nationally recognized for its work in diversity education, the IIU nourishes an inclusive, international learning community of students, faculty, staff, and community members. On a more personal level, my work with the IIU makes me more aware of the difficulty and importance of making students as well as educators more conscious of diversity and its central place in a high-quality education.

Another extremely important dimension of my own diversity is my family life. I am the father of a son who has a disability called autism. My son, as well as the rest of my family, provides me with daily reminders of the joys and challenges of diversity. Jimmy has enriched our lives and brought our family closer together. Because of Jimmy, my family and I see and experience life differently. My daughter Katie, who is a recent college graduate, was asked to write about someone who has had a profound influence on her life. She wrote about Jimmy. "Growing up with my autistic brother, I have discovered more and more about myself and other people. He has shown me that not everything wonderful seems wonderful at first sight. When you have someone so different that is so close to you, you develop an uncommon compassion for others."

The aim of this book is two-dimensional. First, it examines the relationship between a person's success and his or her ability to understand, respect, and value diversity. Success, as defined in this book, means to achieve your goals. A second aim is to explore how people can develop diversity consciousness. Subjects such as teamwork, conflict management, communication, and flexible thinking are discussed in a style that promotes self-reflection and dialogue. A wide variety of real-life student experiences and perspectives appear throughout.

Diversity Consciousness introduces a perspective that is largely absent in college courses. Many of these courses avoid diversity issues or treat them as an afterthought. For example, it is a common assumption that students share the same perspectives and life experiences. Some instructors assume that students will learn about diversity "on the side" or "on their own." Unfortunately, students may interpret this to mean that diversity is not central to their education or their success. This interpretation is not borne out by numerous studies in the fields of education and business. These studies, cited throughout the book, reveal that a wide range of diversity skills, such as teaming, communication, and conflict resolution, are directly related to success in college and beyond.

Throughout the book, I have used different terminology to refer to certain groups of people. For instance, I use the term Black as well as African-American, and Latino as well as Hispanic. Using a variety of terms is one way of acknowledging that we do not all agree regarding the labels we attach to human differences.

Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and Opportunities possesses five key features that make it relevant and meaningful to students. This book is:

  1. Student-Oriented. It is infused with genuine anecdotes and perspectives from a very diverse population of students. Too often, educators do not really listen to students when we teach and write. We do not actively collaborate with students in the process of learning and sharing. This book provides a sounding board for a large number of college students from a wide variety of educational, social, and ethnic backgrounds. One distinguishing feature is the integration of real-life "student perspectives" throughout each chapter. They provide a wealth of insight that we need to digest and share. As you read this book, you will recognize everyday struggles, stories, and achievements.
  2. Success-Oriented. More and more employers are realizing that diversity awareness and skills are crucial because they result in greater teamwork, creativity, productivity, and profit. Students who have a solid grounding in the area of diversify have more to offer their employers. Research shows that diversity is not some feel-good issue. Only now are we beginning to realize that education in the area of diversity relates strongly to success.
  3. Focused on Personal Growth and Empowerment. The book emphasizes the importance of educating oneself in the area of diversity. The process begins with one's own background and culture and then extends to others. In addition, the book views diversity education as an ongoing process rather than an event—a process that requires self-reflection and evaluation, patience, and commitment. Although education of this nature is hard work, it pays off regardless of who you are or where you come from.
  4. Grounded in Research. A growing number of studies have examined the impact of education or training in the area of diversity. For example, research indicates that college students who are exposed to diversity issues are more apt to be culturally sensitive and satisfied with college life. Similarly, a number of companies report that diversity education programs are making a measurable difference in worker creativity and productivity. These kinds of studies are important because they move us beyond anecdotal evidence. Research can help us evaluate the impact of educational strategies and plan for the future.
  5. Oriented Toward the Value of Diversity. Throughout our lives, we have been taught that diversity is a problem rather than a valuable resource. Traditionally, the focus has been on minimizing or denying differences rather than rethinking how we approach differences. To be successful we need to develop a new kind of thinking that enables us to appreciate diversity and use it to benefit ourselves and others.

The second edition of Diversity Consciousness has been revised extensively New features include:

Case Studies. "Running" case studies appear at the end of each chapter. Three individuals are followed throughout the book. After reading about their personal experiences dealing with complex issues and situations involving diversify, you are asked to assess each specific case study.

Diversity Links. A number of excellent Web sites are listed, including an Internet address and a short description of the information available.

Instructor's Manual. This manual provides teachers with concrete suggestions related to pedagogy. Included are possible test questions, teaching resources, and guidance regarding subjects such as difficult dialogues and classroom climate.

In addition, there is a new section on diversity education in the workplace. Numerous issues, such as globalization, the Internet, and U.S. population trends and their implications, are discussed in more detail.

Throughout each chapter, an abundance of information has been updated. Numerous new research studies and relevant information from Census 2000 are cited. The events of September 11, 2001, have been integrated into a number of chapters. A variety of issues that relate to the social ramifications of the terrorist attacks—such as religious identity, harassment and profiling, cross-cultural communication, and globalization—are addressed in this new edition.

As you read the book, remember that it is designed to help you do more than just learn about diversity. Regardless of your feelings about diversity, try to approach the book with an open mind. Rather than simply taking in what you read, get involved and stretch yourself intellectually and emotionally. One way to do this is to respond to journal questions. Whenever you see a pencil icon or any time you feel a need to record something in writing, place an entry in your journal. Writing in a journal reinforces your learning, provides you with a record of your thoughts, and provides a basis for further reflection.

Try to open your ...

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Book Description Lebanon, Indiana, U.S.A.: Prentice Hall, Lebanon, Indiana, U.S.A., 2003. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. 2nd Edition. From the Backcover: This empowering study on human diversity helps readers develop the ability to understand, respect, and value diversity—i.e., raise their “diversity consciousness”—and demonstrates how opening one's mind to the views of other peoples and cultures is central for a quality education and successful career. Personalizing the learning experience by weaving a wide variety of real-life student experiences and perspectives throughout the book, it discusses topics in a style that promotes self-reflection and dialogue, and uses an approach to diversity that is balanced, comprehensive, well-integrated, and relevant to achieving one's life goals. Complete with self-reflective journal questions and interactive exercises, it offers thorough and current discussions on diversity and workplace issues—what they are, their significance, and their relevance to the reader; discusses concepts such as teamwork, conflict management, leadership, racism, prejudice, and communication in a clear and concise fashion; and zeroes in on the relationship between an employee's success in the workplace and his/her ability to develop flexibility in their thinking so that he/she can positively and effectively deal with a variety of diversity issues. A useful guide to raising diversity consciousness. About the Author Dr. Richard Bucher is a Professor of Sociology at Baltimore City Community College (BCCC). He has been nationally recognized for his teaching excellence and teaches a variety of courses, including Introductory Sociology, Cultural Diversity in the Workplace, and Race and Ethnic Relations. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education honored him as the 2000 Maryland Professor of the Year. The National Institute far Staff and Organization Development also honored him for teaching excellence. He served as the first Director of BCCC's Institute for Intercultural Understanding (IIU). Under his leadership, the IIU gained national recognition as an innovative diversity education program. Dr. Bucher received his Ph.D. in Sociology from Howard University, with a concentration in race and ethnic relations. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-874854170

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