Presnetation – Social Planning and Community Issues (ARCH 5022)
Topic: Ethnic/Cultural Diversity
- Introduction (background of cultural diversity ) (Khine)
- Overview of cultural diversity (defination) (Khine)
- Why cultural diveristy is important to planners and planning (Dev)
- Critical review (positive and negative effects of cultural diversity ) and understanding of social perspective in cultural diversity (drik)
- Social theory describing cultural diversity : definition of the theory and how the theory is related to cultural diversity (Karen)
- Conclusion (Dev)
- Questions to interact with the class
Social theroies (week 1 slide 23)
- Structural Functionalism
- Critical Theory
- Conflict theory
- Queer Theory
- Feminism (many variations)
- Post-colonial Theory
- Symbolic Interactionism
Symbolic interactionism is a sociological theory that is concerned with face-to-face interactions between different members of the society. This theory posits that culture is created and maintained through the ways people interact and how individuals interpret the actions of other people they interact with.
The theory states that human interactions are a continuous process through which interpretations and meanings are assigned to objects in the environment and actions of other people they interact with (Charon, 2004). Under the tenets of this theory, every object and action has a symbolic meaning and people use language as a means of representing and communicating their specific interpretations.
In addition, culture is viewed as more fluid and dynamic under symbolic interactionism. This is because a shared culture depends on how meaning is interpreted and how people will continuously interact as they convey the assigned meanings. For example in Australia, there are different cultures that live together and without shared meaning of symbols, they cannot live together.
Symbolic interaction finds relevance in urban planning in different ways, especially when it comes to developing a shared cultural. Within an urban environment, there are different cultures that are continuously interacting. These cultures had different values and interpret symbols in different ways (Charon, 2004). This means that without a shared understanding and interpretation of symbols, the urban environment is likely to be chaotic. For example, a picture of a sample street in New York City, US shows shared symbols in a traffic. Symbolic interactionism theory gives a grounded understanding of how different cultures that hold different views and values can continuously live together under a shared urban environment.