Cultural sensitivity and language have become increasingly important topics of discussion in the modern world. It is essential to consider the arguments presented by these authors because they provide valuable insights into the intricate issues of language and cultural sensitivity. By striking a balance between respecting cultural differences and exercising freedom of speech respectfully and beneficially, cultural sensitivity and language play a significant role in challenging power dynamics and stereotypes.
One of the key arguments presented by the authors is that cultural sensitivity requires more than simply understanding other cultures. Understanding the power dynamics between various groups and how language can be used to perpetuate stereotypes and reinforce existing power structures is also necessary. Rivers emphasizes that “race and racial stereotypes it spawns are so subtly interwoven into the fabric of Western society that very often, even those with the best intentions will display bad cultural manners” (1). It is significant to take the time to listen to and learn from members of other cultures and avoid making assumptions about them. Similarly, Clemetson supports the argument by saying, “The implication is that most Black people cannot engage in articulated speech when White people are automatically assumed to be articulate” (3). It indicates that Black Americans’ use of language, frequently regarded as “non-standard” or “incorrect” English, is frequently the source of harsh judgment. Therefore, marginalized groups are forced to conform to the language standards of the dominant culture.
However, Leo and Spring take different tactics when addressing language and cultural sensitivity. According to the two authors, language is used to suppress people from excising free speech due to the fine line between respecting cultural differences and using language. Leo argues that “Operating under the tactic principle that, “error has no rights” “an ancient Catholic theological rule, the new censor isn’t interested in debates or open forums. They want to shut up dissenters.” it implies that this trend is dangerous because it makes it hard to talk about things and makes it hard for people to say what they think openly and honestly. Spring seconds this argument by saying, “Some consider PCL to be a serious infringement upon freedom of expression and an aggressive attack on the English Language. And arbitrarily, tinkering with language when someone decides a word has come to mean something less than pleasant may lead to a certain blandness with a lack of humor, clarity and meaning “(4). Thus, it shows that it is similarly essential to guarantee that individuals can unreservedly and transparently offer their viewpoints for all intents and purposes to know about the manners in which language can be utilized to sustain generalizations and build up power structures
In conclusion, the issue of cultural and linguistic sensitivity is complex and requires careful consideration. The arguments presented by the four authors give meaningful experiences on this issue. While it is vital to be aware of the power elements between various gatherings and how language can be utilized to sustain generalizations and build up existing power structures, it is similarly essential to guarantee that people can offer their viewpoints uninhibitedly and openly.
Amoja Three Rivers. “Cultural Etiquette: A Guide for the Well-Intentioned.” Diversity Best Practices, 2014, https://app.simplenote.com/publish/MmCGl8.
Clemetson, Lynette. “The Racial Politics of Speaking Well.” The Nation, 19 Nov. 2007, https://app.simplenote.com/publish/y7v1pX.
Leo, John. “Free Inquiry? Not on Campus.” City Journal, vol. 27, no. 4, Autumn 2017, https://app.simplenote.com/publish/FXs2SS.
Spring, Natasha. “Freedom of Speech vs. Politically Correct Language.” The Yale Politic, 5 Dec. 2019, https://app.simplenote.com/publish/VHMbls.