Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Culture, Public, Agency, People, Sociology, Knowledge, Diversity, Relationships

Pages: 4

Words: 1100

Published: 2020/11/28

Impacts of Socially Constructed Categories on Public Administrators

According to Mitchell and Audrey, socially constructed categories form the basis of structural inequalities currently experienced globally. This may lead to bias decision making processes majorly among public administrators, with one group perceived as legitimate, superior or even dominant while others may be isolated or relegated as inferior or disadvantaged. Mitchell and Audrey posit that socially constructed categories may lead to biasness due to stereotyping. In their discussion, stereotyping entails making generalized description and discussion about certain people in relation to their groups (Kristen, Norma & Susan, 1). This may include issues such as, ethnicity, gender and race or at some cases, the color of their skin. It is this stereotypes that may lead to bias decision making among public servants or public administrators.
In the view of Mitchell and Audrey, they believe that socially constructed categories may lead to allocation of certain privileges to people of certain skin color or ethnicity. In their discussion, a privilege is something that a person is awarded due to certain characterization while other are denied. They assert that social categories has been a major driving force to the current privileges experienced in the society, majorly practiced by public administrators for instance: The reduced chances of a white man being arrested compared to a black man (Kristen, Norman & Norman, 17). In case a white man is arrested, the chance of him being convicted is usually lower than that of a person with a colored skin. In relation to loan application, Public Administrators are more likely to approve loans applied by white men, compared to those applied by people of colored skin or any other race. In some cases, a handicapped person will be given quick and efficient services at a public office compared to a personal considered normal. These are examples of how socially constructed categories can impact public administrators.

Difference between Cultural Competency, Diversity and Social Equity

Good governance entails various characteristics; cultural competency is one of these characteristics. It ensures that public services are delivered to the target beneficiary in an inclusive and comprehensive manner. According to Kristen, Norman & Susan 2011, cultural competency is basically the awareness that elected, selected of nominated public servants should have in relation to various cultural attributes of the people they serve. That is, being culturally competent involves being in possession of knowledge and ideas related to certain cultural dynamics, practices and orientation of a certain community or a group of people (Kristen, Norman & Susan, 2011:5). Possession of such knowledge and skills creates a platform for people and individuals to respect, accept and pay attentions to the differences and population dynamics. This has also been linked with reduction of conflicts that may arise, especially when a public servant attempts to implement processes that conflict with the cultural interest of the local communities.
On the other hand, diversity focuses on a country’s demographics of the overall national population as well as within organizations. Kristen, Norman and Susan 2011, assert that an understanding of a country’s demographics sets a platform for debates, representations, discrimination, civic engagement, affirmative action as well as civil right activism. Moreover, having the knowledge of the diverse demographic characteristics among public servants gives them an indication of the varying needs of groups they serve, thus leading to a scenario of cultural competency. However, in the view of Kristen, Norman & Susan, they conclude that the essence of dealing with issues ascribed to diversity does not mean that there is development or creation of a condition of cultural competency (Kristen, Norman & Susan, 2011: 6).
In relation to social equity, its definition varies from the essence of fairness and justice to the formulation and implementation of public policies in a manner that creates an equal opportunity for everyone and those that are believed to have been subjected to discrimination as well as isolation. Kristen, Norman & Susan 2011 notes that cultural competency plays an important role in creating social equity in relation to access and utilization of social services. However, it does not assist in resolving issues associated with social inequity. Additionally, in as much as cultural competence assists public servants and administrators in bringing social equity, it is also identified as a unique concept.

Initial Steps that I would be take to Build an Agency that is Culturally Competent

Creating a culturally competent agency may be quite challenging however, from a personal perspective, I believe that with proper planning, it can be effectively achieved. One of the initial steps that I would take when creating a culturally competent agency is determination of various demographic and culturally diverse issues that may exist within the organization. The second step would involve, creating awareness among personnel existing within the organization regarding culturally diverse issues that may exist within the agency. In the third step, personnel within the agency would be subjected to training, education, and awareness regarding the importance of having respect towards other people’s cultural perspectives and how this would enhance the performance of the agency. In relation to the fifth step, I would undertake an analysis and evaluation of the challenges that people within the agency are facing as they interact with people from different cultures.

Continuing Steps that I would apply to Ensure the Agency is Culturally Competent

In order to ensure that the spirit and knowledge of culturally competency is maintained in the agency, I would initiative refresher training regarding the values of respecting people’s different cultures and social values. The second step, would involve performing an assessment of the challenges that are faced by personnel and stakeholders as they interact with different cultures. This would create a platform for formulating solutions for the identified challenges. Formulation of solutions to the identified challenges will include engaging personnel and stakeholders within the agency in constructive discussions geared towards identifying solutions that can work effectively for them.
The next step that I would take may involve research on various cultural issues i.e. the perception of people regarding other cultures, cultural dynamics as well as other characteristics of cultural issues. The acquired ideas would then be transferred to the stakeholders and personnel in order to improve their knowledge and ideas regarding various cultural perspectives. Culture is a dynamic issue that requires greater understanding; in this regard, I would educate stakeholders and personnel within the agency to be open-minded regarding cultural issues. Consequently, stakeholders within the agency will be subjected to networking forums on the importance of cultural dynamics as a tool to facilitate organizational performance. I believe that the networking forums will also enhance the inter-personal skills of among the stakeholders, thus promoting cultural competence.


Kristen, A., Norman, M., & Susan, G. (2011). Cultural Competency and Public Administration (pp. 1-11).

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WePapers. (2020, November, 28) Essay On Cultural Competency. Retrieved June 10, 2023, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/essay-on-cultural-competency/
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Essay On Cultural Competency. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/essay-on-cultural-competency/. Published Nov 28, 2020. Accessed June 10, 2023.

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