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Cultural Diversity. Code Blue Chapter 8. Terms Used in Chapter 8. Bias. An emotional leaning to one side. Sometimes people have a bias towards people of other cultures. This bias may be positive, or negative. Recognizing the existence of a bias helps one overcome negative bias.

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Cultural Diversity

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Cultural Diversity

Code Blue

Chapter 8

Terms Used in Chapter 8


  • An emotional leaning to one side.

    • Sometimes people have a bias towards people of other cultures.

    • This bias may be positive, or negative.

    • Recognizing the existence of a bias helps one overcome negative bias.

Cultural Blindness

  • A condition that exists when individuals assume that cultural differences do not exist.

Cultural Sensitivity

  • An appreciation for the cultures and beliefs of others.

    • All cultures have something to teach us

    • America is made up of people from many cultures


  • Social, artistic, and religious structures and manifestations that characterize a specific society—beliefs and traditions handed down from generation to generation.

Culture Differences

  • Food

  • Gender roles

  • Beliefs concerning personal illness

  • Personal space

  • Touching

  • Communication

What is your favorite ethnic food? Does your family have any ethnic foods that they eat on special occasions (Christmas, Thanksgiving, other family holidays?)


  • The unity that comes from a common religion, belief, language, and culture.

  • What ethnic groups are represented in your class?


  • An American of Spanish or Portuguese descent. The term is sometimes used as a classification of those who speak Spanish.


  • Being composed of members from more than one ethnic group

    • America is a multiethnic country.

Personal Space

  • The area surrounding a person that an individual regards as his own—the distance from other people that an individual needs to feel secure or comfortable.


  • A classification system based on genetic characteristics such as color of skin, the structure of hair, etc.

Supplementary Reading 1--Discrimination

  • Discrimination is the practice of treating an individual differently based on some distinguishing characteristic.

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Need Apply

Supplementary Reading 1--Discrimination

  • Discrimination based on race, gender, age, and disability are illegal.

  • It is important that employers and employees understand laws prohibiting discrimination.

  • Employers who ignore these statutes and rulings risk significant penalty.


  • Legislation on discrimination initially focused on minority groups.

  • A minority group is a cluster of people who differ from the majority in religion, race, speech, culture, appearance, etc.


  • Recent legislation has focused on groups that might not numerically constitute a minority within a community, but differ in some significant way from other populations.

  • Women and the aged are two examples.

Racial Discrimination

Racial Discrimination

  • Many countries have a history of racial discrimination; the United States is one of these.

Racial Discrimination

  • As the result of unfair practices, legislatures passed a series of laws aimed at eliminating this form of discrimination.

  • Court rulings interpreted and reinforced that legislation.

  • Let’s look at the history of racial discrimination legislation.

Racial DiscriminationAmendments, Laws & Court Rulings

  • Congress adopted the 13th Amendment in 1865. This abolished slavery but did nothing to address the issue of citizenship.

  • Three years later, the 14th Amendment corrected this problem. In addition, the 14th Amendment mandated that states grant all citizens “equal protection under the law.” Nevertheless, some states continued to prevent African Americans from voting.

  • In 1870, Congress passed the 15th Amendment that prohibited states from denying anyone the right to vote based on race.

Racial DiscriminationAmendments, Laws & Court Rulings

  • While the 14th Amendment, discussed above, guaranteed people “equal protection under the law,” the meaning of that phrase evolved slowly as courts successively interpreted its intent.

Racial DiscriminationAmendments, Laws & Court Rulings

  • In 1954, the Supreme Court heard the case Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka, and ruled that “separate but equal” education was not “equal.” Segregation in schools was ruled unconstitutional

Racial DiscriminationAmendments, Laws & Court Rulings

  • Three years later, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which established the Commission on Civil Rights, a governmental agency charged with investigating civil rights violations.

  • To assist with enforcement and compliance, Congress also established the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice to enforce the provisions of the act.

Racial DiscriminationAmendments, Laws & Court Rulings

  • Congress followed this with:

    • The Civil Rights Act of 1960, which provided for the appointment of referees to help blacks register to vote

    • The 24th Amendment (1964), which barred poll taxes in federal elections

    • Additional legislation outlawing poll taxes

Racial DiscriminationAmendments, Laws & Court Rulings

  • One of the strongest civil rights acts ever passed was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed race-based discrimination by employers and unions.

  • It also established the Equal Opportunity Commission to enforce the provisions of the law.

Gender Discrimination

Historical Treatment of Women

  • Throughout history, societies have treated women inappropriately.

  • Prior to 1900, few countries offered women the right to vote.

  • It has only been recently that legal bodies seriously considered equal rights for women.

Amendments, Laws, and Court Rulings

  • In 1920, Congress approved the 19th Amendment extending suffrage to women.

Amendments, Laws, and Court Rulings

  • In 1940, the federal government outlawed sex-based wage discrimination for firms with federal contracts.

  • The government then mandated equal pay for men and women who perform the same tasks for all firms through The Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963.

Amendments, Laws, and Court Rulings

  • The following year, Congress outlawed job discrimination based on sex through Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Civil Rights Act of 1964

  • This legislation prohibited firms from firing women for pregnancy, when pregnancy did not affect job performance.

  • It also outlawed the practice of reserving specific jobs for men, or for women.

Amendments, Laws, and Court Rulings

  • Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 prohibited gender discrimination by universities and colleges who receive federal funds.

Amendments, Laws, and Court Rulings

  • A number of court rulings have affected women in the workplace.

  • The Supreme Court has ruled that women must receive the same fringe benefits as men, including social security, welfare, and workers compensation.

Fringe Benefits

Amendments, Laws, and Court Rulings

  • Some states now mandate that women must pay alimony, if the wife’s salary is greater than the husbands.

Age Discrimination

Age Discrimination

  • Advances in modern medicine have allowed people to work longer than in previous decades.

  • Individuals over fifty-five years of age constitute a major segment of the workforce.

Age Discrimination

  • Consequently, legislatures are focusing on age discrimination in the workplace.

Laws and Rulings

  • In the late 1960s, Congress enacted The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The reasons for this act cited in the legislation included:

    • Older workers were finding themselves disadvantaged in their efforts to find and retain employment.

    • Employers were setting arbitrary age limits for some jobs.

    • Long-term unemployment was up for older workers.

    • Discrimination on the basis of age was deemed to be a burden on the economy.

The purpose of the act is:

  • To promote employment of older persons based on ability, rather than age.

  • To prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment.

  • To help employers and workers find solutions to problems that arise from old age.

The act specifically prohibits:

  • Discriminationin hiring or firing based on age.

  • The limitation, segregation, or classification of people in a way that deprives them of opportunity or status as employees.

  • Reduction in wages to comply with this legislation.



  • A disabled person is an individual with a disability, who is qualified to perform the essential tasks of the position with or without a reasonable accommodation by the employer.


  • In 1990, Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibiting employers with 15 or more employees from:

    • Discriminating against qualified people who have disabilities, when

    • An accommodation will impose no hardship on the employer

Americans with Disabilities Act

  • Discrimination under the ADA is prohibited in:

    • Recruitment

    • Hiring

    • Pay

    • Promotion

    • Selection for training

Americans with Disabilities Act

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act has no affirmative action requirement.

  • Employers are free to hire the best qualified applicant.

Sexual Preference

Political Agenda

  • Many gay and lesbian organizations have adopted an active political agenda.

  • Many are campaigning for laws that prohibit discrimination against homosexuals.

  • Some are campaigning for same sex marriage.

Supreme Court Rulings

  • In 1986, the United States Supreme Court ruled that states could outlaw homosexual conduct.

  • In 2003, it reversed that ruling.


  • Some critics charge that homosexuality is a learned behavior and that gays and lesbians should not have special legal protections.

  • Research on whether homosexuality is biologic or learned is inconclusive.

Case Law

  • Case law on this topic is in its infancy.

  • Most certainly, there will be additional legislation and new judicial rulings.

Sensitivity to Cultural Differences in Patients

  • In treating patients, health professionals must consider the whole patient. This includes sensitivity to cultural differences.

Discuss Examples of how cultural differences in the following areas may affect the delivery of personal healthcare.

  • Food

  • Gender roles

  • Beliefs about personal illness

  • Personal space

  • Touching

  • Communication

The End!

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