Imagine you are on the beach for a wedding. It’s so beautiful, and you feel like it’s a privilege just to be there. Suddenly, everyone goes quiet, and you turn to look behind you. The bride has arrived. In front of her walks a man playing the bagpipes. ‘The bagpipes?’ you think, ‘He must be at the wrong wedding!’ Both bride and groom are black.
In fact, he’s at the right wedding. The groom is descended from a Scottish man who adopted the Zulu culture and became a chief. He fathered many children with his Zulu wives almost 150 years ago. His offspring still embrace and merge aspects of the Scottish and Zulu cultures. It is certainly a proud and vibrant heritage to have. This is but one example of how pluralistic South Africans are.
Poverty is no cause to stay away from the market. Residents bring food and other supplies to be distributed to the needy. It’s no shame to come to the collection for help. Everyone understands that people fall on hard times. Over time, however, there have been noticeably fewer women, youths, people with disabilities and non-South Africans among those in need of charity. Better education, employment opportunities and fair wages mean a single mother can adequately care for her family on her own, and more youths have decent jobs. Xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, classism – these problems have become increasingly unfamiliar to the residents.
Integration in a context of such diversity does seem like a strange dream to many of us. But isn’t it beautiful?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have? This book looks at overcoming the ISMs, (Instant Separation Magnets), in the South African context, and how to manage diversity so that everybody succeeds. The aspects of diversity are considered in detail with real examples and practical information on dealing with and preventing diversity-related problems.
Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us helps readers bring about transformation in their everyday dealings and in their organisations. It is useful for managers, HR departments, corporate trainers, strategists, students, and anyone facing situations of diversity which require strategic and prudent interventions. It helps in inspiring positive change, changing mindsets, and transforming the status quo for the better of all