Working in diverse teams
Working in diverse teams

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Working in diverse teams

Week 6: Social identity and cultural norms


To begin Week 6, first watch the following video in which Lynne Johnson introduces what you will be learning about this week.

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This week, you'll be looking at the question of social identity and thinking about cultural norms and the expectations we might have for different groups. In particular, you'll look at one theory of social identity as proposed by Tajfel and Turner in 1979. This theory helps us to explain the them and us phenomenon and roots this in our tendency to group things and people together. You'll also examine the difference between a stereotype, prejudice, and discrimination, and explore some of the stereotypes you might hold yourself without even being aware of it.
And you'll listen to a case study of my own time working in Japan in the early 1990s and consider how Hofstede's six dimensions of culture could have helped me in working as part of a team within a Japanese high school. I didn't know about Hofstede then, so we're looking at it with the benefit of hindsight, but perhaps it can help you with the teams you're currently in.
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By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • understand Tajfel and Turner’s social identity theory
  • describe the difference between a stereotype, prejudice and discrimination
  • recognise any stereotypes or prejudices you may hold
  • understand how Hofstede’s dimensions of culture could help improve communication and working in a culturally diverse team.

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