What is Diversification?
“Diversification is a principle that maintains how individual develop into quite different people
so that they can peacefully occupy different niches within the environment.”
Humans have evolved adaptations or solutions to threats to survival. Just as different
plant species will coexist alongside one another in different areas of creek-bed ecosystem,
individual diversify by developing different traits, abilities and preferences, thereby occupying
different identities and sometimes mingled identities in order to survive and exist productively at
intrapersonal as well as at interpersonal level.
“Variety, or the opposite of homogeneity. In social organizations the term usually refers to the
range of personnel who more accurately represent minority populations and people from varied
backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and viewpoints…” (Barker, 2003, p. 126).
“A broad definition of diversity ranges from personality and work style to all of the visible
dimensions of diversity such as race, age, ethnicity or gender, to secondary influences such as
religion, socioeconomics and education, to work diversities such as management and union,
functional level and classification or proximity/distance to headquarters.” (Society for Human
The greater this individual diversity the greater must be the allowed social diversity in
our societies. This implies an increase in the number of variables applicable to our natures. To
define a unique social being requires a very large array of different values (impossible to
quantify accurately), thus the same must be true of the society that contains them all. We cannot
specify a small number of fixed variables and call this a 'normal'.
If you look at India, you will realize that it is a multi-lingual,multi-ethnic, multi-religious
country. It has 18 languages and more than 3000 dialects. Every part of the world shows the
diversity that exists. Cross-cultural research focuses on this diversity. Recently, multiculturalism
has been promoted as a position to understand this diversity. Multiculturalism means the
acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures, for practical reasons and for the sake of
accepting and celebrating diversity. It is useful in many demographic setups. e.g., schools,
businesses, neighborhoods, cities, etc.
Dynamics of Social Diversity
Social diversity hinges on three universal human realities.
Firstly, that each individual is unique.
Secondly, that individuals and their societies are inter-related and inter-dependent.
And thirdly, that societies and cultures are dynamic:
change may be rapid or gradual, but will always affect different members of society in ways that
reflect differences in power and status. These changes occur at intrapersonal as well as
interpersonal levels for the better survival of the individual.
Dimensions of Social Diversity
There are many obvious dimensions of human diversity—height, weight, hair, color, to
name just few. But for people’s self-concepts and social relationships, the two dimensions that
matter most, and that people first attune to, are race and, especially, sex.Other times,
intrapersonal communications is undertaken in order to reflect upon or appreciate something.
Three aspects of intrapersonal communication are self-concept,perception and expectation that
shape diversity within the individual.
a) Intrapersonal Aspect
Self-concept is the basis for intrapersonal communication, because it determines how a
person sees him/herself and is oriented toward others. Self-concept (also called self-awareness)
involvesthree factors: beliefs, values and attitudes.
Beliefs are basic personal orientation toward what istrue or false, good or bad; beliefs
can be descriptive or prescriptive. Beliefs, values and attitudes all influence behavior,
which can be either spoken opinion or physical action.
Values are deep-seatedorientations and ideals, generally based on and consistent with
beliefs, about right and wrongideas and actions.
Attitudes are learned predisposition toward or against a topic, ideals that stemfrom and
generally are consistent with values. Attitudes often are global, typically emotional.
Some psychologists include body image as an aspect of intrapersonalcommunication, in that
body image is a way of perceiving ourselves, positively or negatively,according to the social
standards of our culture. Other things that can affect self-concept arepersonal attributes, talents,
social role, even birth order.
Whereas self-concept focuses internally, perception looks outward. Perception of the
outsideworld also is rooted in beliefs, values and attitudes. It is so closely intertwined with selfconceptthat one feeds off the other, creating a harmonious understanding of both oneself and
b) Interpersonal Aspect
Family aspect focuses on communication patterns within nuclear, extended and blended
families. This category focuses on individual to individual relationship between family members
and much research has been focused specifically on communication within a family relationship.
Family communication can be enhanced by the long-standing and close relationships among
participants as well as the likelihood that families have shared heritage, similar values, and social
rituals. Patterns differ in communication between spouses, between parent and child, among
siblings, and within the wider family context that ultimate head towards diversified and
harmonious lifestyles and thinking patterns.
Organizational communication deals with communication within large organizations such
as businesses which helps to increase acceptable and expectable diversified patterns in business
settings. This is sometimes considered part of group communication, but communication
scholars have built up a body of knowledge focused primarily on organizations. Example: Work
focused discussion between employer and employee.
Additionally, some scholars identify a category of impersonal communication. This is a
distinctionbetween impersonal and interpersonal communication on the basis of the quality of the
interaction.Impersonal communication is that which involves functional short-term exchanges
such as mightoccur between a shopper and a salesman; the label of interpersonal is reserved for
communicationthat functions in deeper and more meaningful relationships.
c) Cultural and Cross-cultural Aspect
Social norms are the behaviors and cues within a society or group. This sociological term has
been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs,
attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit. Failure to follow the rules can
result in severe punishments, including exclusion from the group." They have also been
described as the "customary rules of behavior that coordinate our interactions with others."
The social norms indicate the established and approved ways of doing things, of dress, of
speech and of appearance. These vary and evolve not only through time but also vary from one
age group to another and between social classes and social groups. What is deemed to be
acceptable dress, speech or behavior in one social group may not be accepted in another. The
remarkably wide diversity of attitudes and behaviors from one culture to another indicates the
extent to which we are the products of cultural norms. Norms restrain and control us, but they
also lubricate the social machinery. Social behavior occurs with greater ease when everyone
knows what is both expected and accepted. Despite their distinct differences, cultures share some
norms in common.
Culture also varies in their norms for personal space, a sort of portable bubble or buffer zone
that we like to maintain between ourselves and others. As the situation changes, the bubble
varies in size. With strangers we maintain a fairly large personal space, keeping a distance of 4
feet or more between us. On un-crowded buses, or in restrooms or libraries, we protect our space
and respect others’ space. We let friends come closer, often within 2 or 3 feet.
Cross-cultural communication is a field of study that looks at how people from different
cultural backgrounds endeavor to communicate. All cultures make use of nonverbal
communication but its meaning varies across cultures. In one particular country, a non-verbal
sign may stand for one thing, and mean something else in another culture or country. The
relation of cross-cultural communication with deviance is that a sign may be offensive to one in
one culture and mean something completely appropriate in another. This is an important field of
study because as educators, business employees, or any other form of career that consists of
communicating with ones from other cultures you; need to understand non-verbal signs and their
meanings, so you avoid offensive conversation, or misleading conversation. Below is a list of
non-verbal gestures that are appropriate in one country, and that would be considered deviant in
The O.K. signal
for hitch hiking,
or approving of
as in cheering at
a public event
The O.K. signal
This is a rude
hello or talking
means that you
middle finger is
be a sign of
to someone it is
are asking for
impolite to not
Used in place of
look directly at
Thus social diversity is an essential part of human life to ensure safe and flexible being in
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