Critical Response: a World of Cultural Diversity

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In “A World View of Cultural Diversity,” Thomas Sowell (1991) argues that a diversity of cultures has influenced the course of world history. In the article, Sowell talks about, “the worldwide importance of cultural diversity over centuries of human history before returning to the narrower issues of our time (p. 69).”

He readily recognized that there are many different definitions of diversity. Some definitions have cultural implications and others do not.

In the U.S. assimilation into the workforce is being replaced by the integration of diversity. Sowell would say that for profitability, this is inevitable. People groups cannot compete economically if they are enclaved amongst the subculture immediately around them. He believes there is an enormous benefit to be able to tap into the knowledge, skills and analytical techniques of the world.

In addition, Sowell believes, “individuals have decided for themselves how much of the old they wished to retain, how much of the new they found useful in their own lives (p. 77).” I agree. In general conversation with diverse people groups, you may hear one person say, my parents did it this way but I’m doing it the way I think is better. I think it’s natural for people to progress socially, economically and spiritually. In business, for example, why would the human race not improve in the mechanics from the first car manufactured? These improvements have been proven to be very profitable.


1. Harvey, C.P., & Allard, M.J. (2009). Understanding and managing diversity (4th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

2. Sowell, T. (1991). A world view of cultural diversity. In C.P. Harvey, & M. J. Allard (Eds.). Understanding and managing diversity (4th ed., p. 69-77) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.


July 2010

Critical Response: A World of Cultural Diversity

Professor C. Bynum

Author: Rachelle Andrews Mobley