In today’s modern world, organizations have become global, where people from different countries and cultures come together to work for common and shared organizational goals. Several cultural issues arise when employees from distinct backgrounds are in the same place. Religion is one of the most critical ones since it is the set of spiritual beliefs and values that individuals follow in their daily lives. They expect their organizations to give them leverage for following their religion as this provides for their personal development. Enhancement in personal self would support bettering individual and group performance; hence, upgrading in organizational competitiveness would be observed.
Hofstede said that the religion practiced in a certain region is the result of cultural values that were followed previously by the ancestors in the same area (Mazur, 2010). The existing cultural strength is increased when people follow a religious guideline as they can with themselves and their spiritual entities whom they worship. Values are then created within the organizational culture based on these cultural qualities. Personal characteristics are combined with national and religious cultures, therefore, becoming a part of the organizational working environment. The states that have people from various ethnicities living in one area have heterogeneous religious backgrounds. The individuals’ attributes and the environment under which they function are affected by their respective religions and beliefs that they pursue.
Within an organization, a group of humans works together, hence formulating a human society of its own. Their behaviors and religions shape the work relations created within these human societies. Since nationality has different dimensions as well, in which religion is counted, individualism is therefore modified that today’s managers have to understand. In international organizations, it is important to understand individuals’ religious orientations to understand how they can be compensated, motivated, and rewarded based on their spirituality.
The social construction of gender and religion are quite evident in modern globalized organizations. The social context of each culture takes religion and gender in different ways. For example, in some religions touching and staring at women is considered inappropriate, and the same values are meant to be practiced within the social settings. The gender differences are apparent across varying religious lines, and society’s reconstruction of these perceptions is discernible (Winkel, 2019). When religion is taken as a social variable dependent on culture, religion then mirrors the way a society should operate, including both men and women. It would not be wrong to say that the social codes are defined by religion.
Recently, national and international laws have ensured that gender equalities are maintained throughout societies that constitutional laws provide a defense source to maintain order within the social communities (Raday, 2003). Human rights doctrine highlights any opposing gender equality claims in which religious and cultural values are underlined. The cultural defense is made immediately where the gender roles are identified with an emphasis; however, the religious claims remain vague instead of human rights under the shade of religious freedom. Various human rights institutes have stressed cultural values and gender equality, whereas conflict between religious patterns and others’ freedom also exists.
Under the name of culture and religion, several societal practices are gender-specific, especially, they are observed to be hurt one gender that is women. For instance, preference for sons’ birth, female genital mutilation for future ease in giving birth, dowry in daughter marriages, even forced child marriages considering as child bribes, killings in the name of honor, etc. Human rights institutions have now determined all of these practices as an injustice to the female gender within the society where religion is convenient. Moreover, these harmful cultural practices are diffused on geographical terms and contribute to this particular gender in political and economic arenas difficult. These structural arrangements are visible as social inequalities based upon socially defined differences.
The human mind has learned to adapt itself to social diversity since it perceives its survival and protection in cooperation within society’s subgroups (Ramos et al., 2019). Recent communities are changing rapidly with time, based on ethnic and religious compositions. Gender has been perceived according to these religious beliefs, and new challenges arise in daily lives. Social diversity has its implications as this exceptional change provides potential dangers that would remain unknown to others. The protection of one religious group from the other is the new survival in our societies as this diversity has posed new defiance for social cohesion and peace. Socially diverse communities have low levels of trust since communication with each other creates stress and anxiety.
On the contrary, human biologists believe that interactions with ‘others’ might benefit the human species that would not have been possible with the same group’s interactions. Sharing of knowledge and access to new amenities provides better sources of survival and facilitation for life. It has also been witnessed that human nature needs a change after a certain time and would exhibit an inclination towards mixing. Humans welcome exposure to social diversity as they want to see new dimensions of life.
The majority and minority classifications of a society are based on power, numeric size, group features, beliefs, and benefits within a group (Seyranian, Atuel & Crano, 2008). Research had deducted that only size does not determine whether the group is a minority or not. No matter how small in size, some elite groups, but having great influential power and treatment of each other within the group, are distinguished.
A study was conducted among 77 junior college students and university participants. Different ethnic compositions were included, including Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans, and others. A survey was conducted among these individuals based on the perceptions of their majority and minority understandings. The results showed that the partakers pointed out nine dimensions that would help identify a group as a majority or minority. The dimensions were a social category, power, number, distinct, group context, target, source, dispositions, and other depicters.
It was deduced that when people were allowed to categorize minority and majority based on certain characteristics, there is a multi-dimensional product. Power and the number of members in a society majorly affect the kind of treatment those members would be given, and the dispositions of these dimensions are therefore correlated. The study implied that the broad perception of the majority and minority group is based on size only. Still, when several other dimensions were revealed in this study, it can be explained that social psychologists might have overlooked these factors in their social studies. These factors have the power to transform the ways a majority or minority group works.
The social identity theory explains that multiple identities can co-exist in varied social contexts (Nandi & Platt, 2018). This theory seemed to be most applicable to religious and political identities within the societies. Ethnic identity is perceived to be suitable for identification compared to other forms, such as gender, political, or occupational. With the advent of modern times, political beliefs have bent towards inclusive ethnic minorities in national identities. The immigrant and second generations have now been included as ethnic minorities and correlation and ethnic and national identities. Literature has identified that ethnic identities tend to decline across generations but remain strong in second generations, which shows the strength of national identity. Political behaviors or engagements are manifested in minority identities as well. Some studies support the fact that dual-national identity increases political involvement while some studies are against it. The local context where an individual resides and his political consciousness plays an important role in identity creation. These contexts that help boost identity and belonging to society are key factors for mobilization of political awareness. Therefore, if minorities are provided sources for self-identification based upon their cultural contexts, political recognition becomes an important identity sphere.
The majority and minority groups within the society, along with their cultural and religious context, serve as a fundamental basis for social construction study. Human beings live in different levels within the same human communities, and nationalism becomes vague in the 21st century. The internal and external changes within the ethnicities are gradually transferred within the nationalities and personal identities. Political movements provide a direction for nationalism. The steps for maintaining this continuum are guided by political powers and their perceptions about their societies’ racial and religious classifications within the state. Economic development is only possible when government devises policies that consider the social and religious needs of these social communities so that their political identities are strengthened. If religion were to be a dominant feature of the society and the nations were to be divided into those who believe in religion and those who do not, then how we should perceive the world and how others should interpret us would be dependent on metaphysical assumptions of identities.
Mazur, B. (2020). Organizational culture under religious influence. Intech Open. Retrieved from https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/organizational-culture-under-religious-influence
Nandi, A. & Platt, L. (2018). The relationship between political and ethnic identity among UK ethnic minority and majority populations. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 46(5), 957-979. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1539286
Raday, F. (2003). Culture, religion, and gender. Oxford University Press and New York University School of Law, 1(4), 663-715. http://arabic.musawah.org/sites/default/files/Culture%2C%20Religion%20and%20Gender.pdf
Ramos, M.R., Massey, D., Bennett, M. & Hewstone, M. (2019). Social diversity is initially threatening, but people do adapt over time- new research. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/social-diversity-is-initially-threatening-but-people-do-adapt-over-time-new-research-118066
Seyranian, V., Atuel, H. & Crano, W.D. (2008). Dimensions of majority and minority groups. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 11(1), 21-37. DOI: ff10.1177/1368430207084843ff.
Winkel, H. (2019). Religious cultures and gender cultures: Tracing gender differences across religious cultures. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 34(2), 241-251. https://doi.org/10.1080/13537903.2019.1621540
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