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Culture is a people's way of life. It involves certain rules, values, roles, beliefs, practices and language. Each community or race has its own defining culture distinct from the other communities (Van Wart, 2011). In handling societal issues, there is a tendency of people of different cultures to come together. Therefore, it is essential to be culturally sensitive in order to avoid stereotyping. There is a relationship between the two concepts that this paper handles.
Cultural sensitivity involves the skills, understanding and procedures that enable an individual or a group to service all cultures effectively. The concept allows one to treat all cultures respectfully and empathically (Richard, 2011). It also ensures that people are handled in a way that recognizes and values their dignity. Cultural sensitivity is instrumental in that ensures equal treatment of different people in the community. A group of people is diverse in many ways including religion, education, gender, age, income prospects, occupation and degree of assimilation.
Stereotyping concerns the act of segmenting people into certain groups and attaching certain, assumptions based on false beliefs and prejudices (Helle, 2011). It involves generalizations of certain groups of people in the society. There is a relationship between stereotyping and gender sensitivity. This is because they both involve diverse groups in society. When fostering culture sensitivity, an individual has to engage stereotyping. Stereotyping negatively impacts the manner of treating members of a certain group (Richard, 2011).
Moreover, cultural sensitivity can result in stereotyping. For instance when treating patients in the hospital (Eliasoph, 2011). Since patients are diverse, it is imperative that the medical personnel exercise cultural sensitivity. This will involve handling each group according to their culture. Consequently, doctors and nurses will be forced to treat patients basing on certain generalizations, hence stereotyping.
Nevertheless, cultural sensitivity can effectively take place without stereotyping. To make it possible, people should view others as individuals, rather than as a group. Additionally, people should respect and acknowledge diversity (Dystart-Gale, 2011). Furthermore, it is vital that people learn to trust other people and change their beliefs on them. People should also keep abreast with certain factors that influence the decision-making process in various cultures. Besides, familiarizing oneself with different cultures is influential in avoiding stereotyping.
In conclusion, the society is made up of different types of people with different culture. In order to foster effective services to the society, it is necessary to be culturally sensitive. Cultural sensitivity is, often, accompanied by stereotyping. Nevertheless, this can be curbed by viewing everybody as an individual so as to avoid generalization. Trust, knowledge of different cultural values and believes, and change of mindset will hinder any form of stereotyping in the process of cultural sensitivity.