Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Community, Diversity, Workplace, People, Conflict, Inequality, Volunteering, Age

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/23

Service Learning Reflection

For my service, I work on Habitat for Humanity Restore. ReStore have mission to organize and sell items from donation for raising of funds for support of other Habitat for Humanity projects, prevent garbage, and make available affordable items for the public. I work in a group with many persons of various differences and learned much in regards to that differences amongst group can be turn to strength due to diversity of group differences, also about my own self and abilities to function in new capacities and additionally as a group.
Diversity is very wide, deep and forked concept that can obviously be recognize around us, especially in the workplace. According to Andersen and Taylor, diversity refer to “the variety of group experiences that result from the social structure of society” (2008, p.11). This author also state that “people are shaped by the social context around them,” and include race, ethnicity, sex orientation, religion, class age, and health as factors causing different effect on experiences of individuals to shape them, including experience of inequality due to differences (2008, p. 11). That is to say these differences cause people to think, work, and act in different manners, and when many differences exist in a group for the reasons stated previous, there is great diversity. Mor Barak explain that benefits of workplace diversity is by the inclusion of a variety of diverse people with distinct differences, negative effects of inequality such as stereotype assumption, discrimination, and prejudices are less within a workplace (2009, p. 240).
Our group was with many examples of diverse people which illustrate perfectly the benefit of having a variety of people on a group work. I am a young female international student who speak English as a second language, and am Muslim. In our group were other religions including Christianity, and one person who do not believe in any religion! Many races are present in our group also, including Middle East, white American, Chinese, Filipino, and Mexican. Also our ages in the group are very diverse, from age of early twenty (my age of 23) up to older than 65 years of age. Both gender of men and women work alongside each other, and we even have a gay worker who also has a disability from previous work.
Lessons I learn from working in such diverse group are that though I am very different from other workers here, with communication and open mind we will be able to accomplish goals and I am valuable in the process of this. I can fit in with others and do things I did not realize before with help and guidance from others who have that experience, such as lifting heavy items, putting stock arranged on shelves, and working customer service with many diverse customers. I also learn that it is okay for my English not to be perfect when talking to others with English as first language, and I can gain confidence to speak with others through practice such as with the workplace group and customers who are all supportive of efforts I make to speak properly. With more confidence in talking to others, I realize I love working with groups and enjoy collaborate and share with others, and feel positive with how group members care to help each other even not when working, such as when a group member drove me home and another member to the train station out of kindness.
Also along with lessons about myself, I learn that even if first differences feel uncomfortable, if group is respectful and communicate well all can learn from the others. For example, when the manager try to shake my hand, I explain to him that in my culture women only shake the hand of men in the nuclear family. He was interested to know more and I get to teach him about my culture. Also, an older volunteer who was about 85 years old was a good source of professional knowledge about organizing supply tools due to many years experience, and I learned from his wisdom.
One view of conflict theory state that at all level of society “there is always inequality in the distribution of material, symbolic, and political resources, with the potential for conflict always present” when people work together, face to face, who are from diverse background or societies (Turner, 2004). Though potential for conflict is always present, with good communication and respect it is not necessary, such as in my example of not shaking a male manager’s hand, or young volunteers not listening to and respect the opinion of an older volunteer with much experience. All these differences can cause conflict according to this theory, however as quoted by Mor Barak earlier in this reflection, a diverse workplace have fewer negative effects of inequality (2009, p. 240).
Through interacting with others of many differences in background, I learn many things about myself and have an opportunity to learn much about others as well as share my own culture. Habitat for Humanity is effective at promotion of diversity in the workplace and there are huge differences between individual workers and volunteers in physical and nonphysical characteristics. Though diversity can cause challenges and conflict when people fail to work together and strive to understand each other, to have so many different ideas and perspective in the workplace can increase the productivity, generate new ideas, teach group members about different market norms, and give opportunity to share new way of doing work.

Works Cited

Andersen, M., & Taylor, H.F. Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. 4th ed. California:
Thomson Learning, 2008. Print.
Mor Barak, Michálle. “Social Psychological Perspectives of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion
in the National and Global Contexts.” The Handbook of Human Services Management.
Ed. Rino J. Patti. USA: Sage Publications, Inc., 2009. 239-254. Print.
Turner, Jonathan H. (2004). “Conflict theory.” Encyclopedia of social theory. Thousand Oaks:
Sage Publications, 2004. Credo Reference. Web. 15 Apr 2015.

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