Misunderstanding of People’s Cultures fosters an Unfair Society

How does misunderstanding of other cultures foster an unfair society?

In the UK, you need to sustain an eye contact during conversation otherwise it is taken that you are not saying the truth or not interested in the subject of discussion. In Africa, you don’t sustain an eye contact with an elder or a superior officer as a mark of respect.

I read a social caseworker’s report after a contact observation suggesting that the parent and child were EMOTIONALLY DISCONNECTED because they were not sustaining an eye contact. Unfortunately, this together with other things (some as simple as them not holding hands) were used as a standard to justify the insistence not to rehabilitate the child and the parent but to keep them separated.

Would the caseworker be of the same opinion if she understood the cultural ethics of the people concerned?

Unlike the caseworker above, the manager of YMCA Paisley who experienced a similar situation when he had a talk-session with the teens from the African community came to us to make inquiries so as to understand this behavioural trait and did not rely on his own earlier formed personal views that the teens were not interested in the talk-session.

There are some activities by some host cultures that are not discrimination per se (or, on their own) and are merely a misunderstanding of the smaller cultures but unfortunately both discrimination and actions based on misunderstanding of the smaller cultures lead to an unfair and an inequitable society.

AFCAE – info@afcae.co.uk
Cultural education, training and workshop.

You Never Know!

Do contact us if you think we may have information that could be beneficial to you. There is no harm in asking. We have intervened in housing matters. We have given information leading to a change of Immigration decisions. We have engaged with some agencies servicing the Ethnic minority and African community and persons in Scotland i.e. Procurator Fiscal’s office, Social works department, Child welfare panels etc.

The work is only becoming very official.

We are not solicitors but we read wide and getting the right information before making your decision/s is very important. We are also able to signpost you to the appropriate quarters/professionals.

AFCAE – info@afcae.co.uk. Please visit our contact page and drop us few lines.

UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001)

Article 5 – ”Cultural rights as an enabling environment for cultural diversity
Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights, which are universal, indivisible and interdependent. The flourishing of creative diversity requires the full implementation of cultural rights as defined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. All persons have therefore the right to express themselves and to create and disseminate their work in the language of their choice, and particularly in their mother tongue; all persons are entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity; and all persons have the right to participate in the cultural life of their choice and conduct their own cultural practices, subject to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”


1. The ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.
(synonyms: civilization, society, way of life, lifestyle; customs, traditions, heritage, habits, ways, mores, values.)

2. The attitudes and behaviour characteristic of a particular social group.