Policy Issue and Culture Diversity

Introduction

Culture of a given group of people is the general pattern of life of the people in relation to religion, spiritual beliefs and their traditions in the material world. Cultural policy comprises of a broad combination of issues which include the spiritual, traditional, material, intellectual that exist in a given social group. It focuses on the lifestyle of the people, their fundamental rights, traditions and beliefs.

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A policy is a set of rules and guidelines by the government on a certain issue. A cultural policy is therefore a formulated guidelines on public policy governing the art and culture of a given nation or state. It describes the guidelines to a society’s values and principles towards any social affairs. Cultural policy is necessary because it enhances a harmonious relationship in a multicultural society. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the sole body under the United Nation that is responsible for the cultural policy in the whole world. However every government in every state or country has a special agent or body that looks at the country’s cultural issues. (Cohen, 1985)

The need for cultural policy

Cultural policy is very essential in any society as it appreciates the existing cultural diversity in most parts of the world. Cultural policy helps in acknowledgment of the cultural identities and therefore increases participation of the different identities in cultural life. Through this acknowledgment of identities, cultural policy promotes international understanding and hence minimizes the risk of disagreement and conflict among nations an individual.

Cultural policy gives room for nourishing of creativity and innovative minded individuals in a society which can be of great help to the society. For example, the innovative work of art of different cultural groups is one of the tourist attractions in the world which earns the given state a significant amount of revenue. If the cultural diversity is not respected in such a state, then it means that the innovative mind of the people from the different cultures and identities is compromised. (Angelo, 2001)

Human development can only be achieved through the fulfillment of the cultural and social needs of an individual. Cultural policy ensures this development through continuous support of cultures and individual identities. Human beings like to be appreciated and culture is one of the main ways that can give assurance of appreciation. This recognition helps in human development which in turns improves the social relationship between individuals and a state as a whole.

Every government has a duty and responsibility of safeguarding the rights of its citizens, people have the right to participate in cultural life which is a fundamental right of individuals in every society and must therefore be put into consideration in the government’s public policies. The cultural policy creates the necessary conditions for the people to exercise these rights. (Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

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Cultural policy establishes opportunities and creates structures and provides resources for a conducive human environment and hence a sustainable development structure. Cultural policy is an important tool in obtaining a sustainable development structure that also ensures the conservation of the environment. Cultural policy looks at the cultural creativity that is a source of human development and progress in every community.

The diversity in culture is the major source of political and cultural challenges in the world, by establishment of cultural policies, the government promotes a peaceful coexistence among its people and oversees the different identities when it comes to social political issues that might lead to internal and international conflicts regarding cultures and races. This harmony is created through dialogue and participation of the people in cultural matters in a state. (Baumol, 1994)

Culture identities need to be respected and cultural differences need to be tolerated in the society for there to be peace and harmony. Cultural policy ensures this kind of harmony through its comprehensive guidelines regarding the cultural matters. Cultural policy is an essential tool for promotion of peace across cultures in the world. Social economic equity among citizens is key condition in promoting development and peaceful coexistence among the people from different cultures. Cultural policy promotion of creativity helps in building our future heritage, sovereignty of our state also depend on our cultural appreciation.

The future social policies should focus on improving the social integration and the life quality of the people in the world without discrimination. These will bring about a close relationship between the government and the development oriented strategies in the society hence a way forward to establish sustainable development will be achieved. The cultural policy should look at all sectors of the population to avoid marginalization of certain groups of people in the world. It should also avoid exploitation of certain cultures in the sense that they contribute so much in their cultural values art and beliefs that may benefit the government and in the other hand, they do not reap anything from the government. This can be a way of killing the spirit to learn and appreciate other people’s culture. Superiority and inferiority in culture development should be avoided in making these cultural policies lest they may not meet the intended objectives. (Arnold, 2006)

Cultural policies should be universal, and should aim at conservation of the heritage of each and every society in every state. The policy should include some important changes in the world of technology which should be used to promote them and not help in eliminating our cultures for the new innovations. Technological know-how can be used to boost the work of art of the creative minds in development and aesthetic value of our heritage.

Conclusion

The culture of each and every individual is an important aspect in the development of personality and humanity. The efforts put forward in ensuring that the cultural policies put forward are followed to the satisfaction of each person should be emphasized in order to achieve positive long lasting results in life as well as promoting peace in the dynamic global village.

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It is therefore the role of every person to appreciate and respect other peoples culture since culture is mutual in nature, that is, if one doesn’t appreciate other cultures, his culture will never be respected either. The role of UNESCO to promote culture should be supported from grassroots levels in each country for it to be successful.

References

Angelo, M. (2001). Cultural policies in Europe, Strasbourg: Council of Europe, pg. 111-128.

Arnold, M. (2006). Culture and Anarchy, New York: Macmillan, pg. 56-65.

Baumol, W. and William, G. (1996). Performing Arts, New York: Macmillan, pg. 89-101.

Cohen, A. (1985). The Symbolic construction of a community, New York: Routledge, pg. 121-143.

Peacock, T. and Ilde, R. (1994). Cultural Economics and Cultural policies, London: Kluwer Academic publishers, pg. 43-78.

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Information on cultural policy also available from Stockholm Conference. Web.

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