Cultural Diversity: Conflicts and Challenges (It Happened to Me)

The United States is perhaps the most culturally diverse nation in the world, and has frequently been called a “melting pot,” “tossed salad,” or “multicultural society” to reflect that diversity. However, since it’s founding, the country has experienced conflicts―many of them violent―due to intolerance of values and views different from those of the majority. Cultural Diversity is a teen guide showing how cultural differences may be at the root of conflicts that crop up daily in high schools, on the job, in the courts, and even within families. In some cases these conflicts are the result of extreme racism, religious bigotry, or outright hatred for a particular group of people. 

This young adult resource is volume six in a new series entitled It Happened to Me, featuring teen voices. Topics such as prejudice, religious bigotry, racism, gender bias, sexual orientation, scapegoating, and stereotyping are presented with stories about young people who have faced problems and with forthright views from young people who have worked to foster respect for diversity. Along with anecdotes are historical perspectives.

Each chapter begins with a quote, usually from a teenager whose words reflect the focus of the chapter. Numerous sidebars provide factual information about the causes of cultural conflicts, how stereotypes are perpetuated, the kinds of discrimination that various groups have suffered, and how hate groups operate. Scattered throughout the book are features that present conflict situations and ask readers: “What do you think?” In addition, readers are challenged to check out factual statements, to read other books that focus on cultural diversity issues, and to take action to instill respect for cultures different from the American mainstream.