Diversity of People and Globalisation
Diversity refers to the social relations and interaction of many different kinds of people. It is obvious that there is enormous plant and animal diversity in the world, a diversity which not only makes the world an interesting place in which to live but which many biologists now regard as important for human survival. At the Rio Conference, delegates debated a treaty to preserve the biological diversity of the millions of plant and animal species that are currently threatened with extinction, among other reasons, such “biodiversity” is important because a diverse range of plants and animals means a greater variety of medicines, more foods for human use, and ecologically stable environments.
The same is true with human diversity. There is an enormous range of human beliefs, behaviors, and forms of social organization on the planet today. Such diversity brings with it a richness of experience, customs, and knowledge that, when openly shared, can prove crucial to the quality of our common human future. At the same time, as with plant and animal diversity, human social and cultural diversity is today challenged.
One challenge to human diversity is a relatively new, one — globalization. This challenge carries with it both promises and problems. Globalization entails the emergence of a single, unified global economy, which today touches people in even the most remote reaches of the planet; global culture, in which television, film, and other forms of mass communication create similarities of style, beliefs, and behavior; and global political organizations such as the United Nations, which alter local political practices.