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Encyclopedia > Cultural diversity

There is a general consensus among mainstream anthropologists that humans first emerged in Africa about two million years ago. Since then we have spread throughout the world, successfully adapting to widely differing conditions and to periodic cataclysmic changes in local and global climate. The many separate societies that emerged around the globe differed markedly from each other, and many of these differences persist to this day. See Anthropology. ...

As well as the more obvious cultural differences that exist between peoples, such as language, dress and traditions, there are also significant variations in the way societies organise themselves, in their shared conception of morality, and in the ways they interact with their environment. Joe Nelson, from Stafford Virginia, has popularized the words "Culture and diversity" while in Africa. It is debatable whether these differences are merely incidental artifacts arising from patterns of human migration or whether they represent an evolutionary trait that is key to our success as a species. By analogy with biodiversity, which is thought to be essential to the long-term survival of life on earth, it can be argued that cultural diversity may be vital for the long-term survival of humanity; and that the conservation of indigenous cultures may be as important to humankind as the conservation of species and ecosystems is to life in general. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behaviour) has three principal meanings. ... Net migration rates for 2006: positive (blue), negative (orange) and stable (green). ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of taxonomic life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of article quality. ... A coral reef near the Hawaiian islands is an example of a complex marine ecosystem. ...

This argument is rejected by many people, on several grounds. Firstly, like most evolutionary accounts of human nature, the importance of cultural diversity for survival may be an un-testable hypothesis, which can neither be proved nor disproved. Secondly, it can be argued that it is unethical deliberately to conserve "less developed" societies, because this will deny people within those societies the benefits of technological and medical advances enjoyed by those of us in the "developed" world. Finally, there are many people, particularly those with strong religious beliefs, who maintain that it is in the best interests of individuals and of humanity as a whole that we all adhere to the single model for society that they deem to be correct. For example, fundamentalist evangelist missionary organisations such as the New Tribes Mission actively work to reduce cultural diversity by seeking out remote tribal societies, converting them to their own faith, and inducing them to remodel their society after its principles. Evolutionary psychology (abbreviated EP) is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language—as adaptations, i. ... For other uses, see Human nature (disambiguation). ... Falsifiability, or defeasibility, is an important concept in the philosophy of science. ... Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. ... Evangelism is the proclaiming of the Christian Gospel. ... Two Mormon missionaries A missionary is traditionally defined as a propagator of religion who works to convert those outside that community; someone who proselytizes. ... New Tribes Mission (NTM) is an international, theologically evangelical Christian mission organization based in Sanford, Florida. ... A tribe, viewed historically or developmentally, consists of a social group existing before the development of, or outside of, states, though some modern theorists hold that contemporary tribes can only be understood in terms of their relationship to states. ...

Cultural diversity is tricky to quantify, but a good indication is thought to be a count of the number of languages spoken in a region or in the world as a whole. By this measure, there are signs that we may be going through a period of precipitous decline in the world's cultural diversity. Research carried out in the 1990s by David Crystal (Honorary Professor of Linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor) suggested that at that time, on average, one language was falling into disuse every two weeks. He calculated that if that rate of language death were to continue, then by the year 2100 more than 90% of the languages currently spoken in the world will have gone extinct. [1] Professor David Crystal, OBE (born 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK) is a linguist, academic and author. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... Affiliations University of Wales Website http://www. ... It has been suggested that Moribund language be merged into this article or section. ...

Overpopulation, immigration and imperialism (of both the militaristic and cultural kind) are reasons that have been suggested to explain any such decline. Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... Cecil Rhodes: Cape-Cairo railway project. ...

There are several international organisations that work towards protecting threatened societies and cultures, including Survival International and UNESCO. The UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted by 185 Member States in 2001, represents the first international standard-setting instrument aimed at preserving and promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Survival International is a human rights organisation formed in 1969 that campaigns for the rights of indigenous peoples, helping them preserve their land and culture. ... UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a specialized agency of the United Nations established in 1945. ...

The EC funded Network of Excellence "Sustainable Development in a Diverse World" SUS.DIV builds upon the UNESCO Declaration to investigates the relationship between cultural diversity and sustainable development. Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. ...

See also

Demograhics such as racial, ethnic, gender differences.

External links

  • UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001)
  • UNESCO Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity
  • International Network for Cultural Diversity
  • Foundation for Endangered Languages
  • Cultural Diversity in WikEd
  • Broadcasting Regulation and Cultural Diversity
  • CEN/ISSS Cultural Diversity Focus Group
  • Across Cultures - National Film Board of Canada Web site with over 100 films and articles on cultural diversity in Canada

  Results from FactBites:
Cultural diversity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (474 words)
Cultural diversity is the variety of human cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole.
Cultural diversity is tricky to quantify, but a good indication is thought to be a count of the number of languages spoken in a region or in the world as a whole.
Overpopulation, immigration and imperialism (of both the cultural and old-fashioned kind) are reasons that have been suggested to explain any such decline.
Diversity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1831 words)
The preservation of our planet's formidable linguistic and cultural diversity in the context of world-wide economic integration is the object of great concern to many people at the turn of the 21st century.
The "business case for diversity", as it is often phrased, is that in a global and diverse marketplace, a company whose makeup mirrors the makeup of the marketplace it serves is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company whose makeup is homogeneous.
Business diversity consultants and diversity trainers often treat the social consequences of diversity as secondary; their primary focus is to enable the company to function in a heterogeneous or global economy.
  More results at FactBites »



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