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12 DIMENSIONS PAPER

12 Dimensions Paper
Eric Goldrup
6674642
Cultural Diversity & Human Service Theory
SOC1070-1
Debashis Dutta
February 2, 2016

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In this paper I will be exploring three areas of culture. How it affected my


upbringing and who I am today, some areas of culture in which I am privileged, and how
these privileges will affect my work in a Human Service field. The first will focus on the
twelve dimensions of culture as dictated by our teacher, the second will focus on the
major parts of culture as shown in the text book for this course in which I am privileged
and how I am privileged by being a part of these demographics, and the third will be
based on how having privilege may negatively affect my work as a Human Service
professional. I hope this paper gives you a deeper look at who I am as a person, where
I came from and why I want to be a human service professional.
12 Dimensions
History
Family of Origin, I am Irish and Italian two nationalities that rank high on the
immigrant rating system at the time my family came to Canada (over 100 years ago on
my mothers side and 200 years ago on my fathers side). The immigrant rating system
is a system that rates immigrants on how close they were to British culture, rating them
on factors such as how white their skin was and their native cultures political and
religious views. My ancestors ranked high in all three areas, and as the years passed
and Canada became less British they were increasingly excepted by society.
My mothers side of the family that she most connects with most is her mothers.
As a third generation Italian on that side she has been able to inform me of our family
history since immigrating. My great grandfather immigrated here just before the start of
World War One and enrolled as cook to serve the Canadian military, allowing my family

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to escape the internment camps. Despite over coming polio as a child, during the great
depression my grandmother worked to help support three other siblings; especially after
my great grandfather returned from serving Canada and suffered a stroke. All her
siblings and her grew up knowing what it was like to be poor, this encouraged my great
uncle (the youngest of the four) to get as much out of life as he could, he became
a millionaire after starting his own construction company and took care of his two sisters
when their families had struggles, but not my grandmother who was happily married
until she was widowed. My grandfather died at 58 when my mother was nineteen. She
and my uncle took care of my grandmother till two years ago when she passed. I was
able to meet all my grandmothers siblings and was spoiled in different ways by each. I
got to know their character and warmth, learned to appreciate them all and their children
for how far my family came in so few generations.
My father has told me less about his family tree, but I will inform you of what I do
know. My grandparents instilled a toughness and work ethic in my father and his sibling
that lasts to this day. They also tried to teach them the importance of community through
getting them to shovel and rake (depending on the season) the properties of several
elderly neighbours. These kinds of life lessons carried them far as all of my dads
siblings are now successful in their fields, these include: a paramedic and emergency
nurse, a school teacher for children with disabilities, a general manager of a major
international hotel and a human resource professional.
Personal history, as I child I grew up in Brampton and attended Lady
of Providence Catholic elementary school, this was my third home before the age of five
when I began attending elementary school. I was baby sat with my sister for most of our

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early childhoods by neighbors looking for some extra income while they stayed home
with their own children, I am still in contact with all of the children I met through these
baby sitters, they feel more like family at this point then friends. Our next move was to
Caledon Village when I was eight years of age, here I met most of the friends I have to
this day. It was here that I sustained most of my concussions in judo while training and
competing for three years at the national level. After I was forced to quit I developed a
problem with self-medicating for my depression; it was here that I struggled to do most
of my "growing up" or maturing. The summer after I Graduated from Robert F Hall
Catholic Secondary School, we moved to Kitchener; I was eighteen at the time. It was
here that I was forced to drop out of college for the first and hopefully only time, due to
a diagnosis of first episode psychosis and schizophrenia. After two years of recovery I
am now here at Conestoga attempting a new field in college in which I hope to find
more success and joy in.
I hope these stories will help you appreciate how the other aspects
of culture have impacted my life and how I interrupted and adopted some of them into
who I am.
Values
Most of my key values come from sayings I have been taught to live by
throughout my life. These include "happy and helpful", "do onto others as you would
have them do onto you", and "work hard, play hard". These values became of significant
importance in helping me through different times in my life and so have become key to
my personality.

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The saying "happy and helpful" was one of my earliest childhood memories and
to my understanding was a creation by my father to sum up how we could make their
lives as parents easier, and help me and my sister become functioning positive
people later in life. This message that all I had to do in life was be as positive as
possible and as helpful as possible to everyone I encountered shaped my early
childhood and me as a young adult. In my opinion I am more respectful and openly
optimistic even when I am inwardly troubled, because it taught me
to appreciate the happiness of others as much as my own. It also has taught me that to
a certain extent it is right to put the needs of those you care about before you own, to
make sure they can handle their burden.
The next time a saying became important in my life was when I read
the gospels for the first time during my confirmation. although many stories from these
books have stuck with me, one I had heard a lot before began to make sense, "do onto
others as you would have them do onto you". this saying became my second of two
rules to live by going through high school, it helped me make a lot of
good acquaintances and close friends; it also helped me avoid fights and make a few
peoples lives a little better by not allowing unprovoked bullying (that is, I stuck up for
teens who didnt intentionally get themselves into the same situation again and again).
This quote still plays a large role in how I interact with people, and view political and
moral dilemmas.
Sadly, in my opinion spending so much time trying to be perfect greatly
contributed to an inner bitterness that I never could be and towards the end of high
school a slight rebellion occurred where I attempted and failed to be a worse person

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and be more like some of the other kids I was hanging around. This was also partially
due to my mental health problems at the time.
My last saying to live by is "work hard, play hard". I was introduced to this saying
by one of my best friends whom I met at age 16, it was a saying his father had repeated
his whole life and that he had learned to base his own life off. It means in essence the
harder you work, the harder you have to play to keep wanting to go back to work. It
really made sense as a rule I had never perfected in my life, I would work too hard at
something till I was tired of trying, then I would play till I realized I would not succeed if I
kept playing so much. So over the past four years I have been working to perfect this
balance, I have found many problems achieving it; for example, when I switched from St
Louis to college the work load increased drastically and I had not made any friends
in Kitchener till the summer before I started this course. I wanted to play, but didnt
realize how easy it would be to fall behind; especially when dealing with my mental
health challenges on top of that.
Now though I realize many things these sayings dont tell you up front. You can
only fake happiness for so long before you forget what it really feels like; deal with the
roots of your emotions. Treat everyone to the best that your character will allow but
many situations will not allow for a right and wrong choice, sometimes you are just
trying to pick the lesser of two bad choices. Lastly playing hard is a good way to want to
go back to working hard, but you need to account for recovery time and be a master
at prioritizing your time and knowing yourself and what you require (time, effort, help) to
succeed.

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Healing and Health


I have been helped by a number of health care and human service professionals
in my life for variety of issues. I dealt with depression in my teens
and schizophrenia and psychosis as a young adult. I dealt with a multitude of injuries
from judo. And lastly the normal every day ailments that impact most of us. I have also
dealt with peoples reactions to these things especially my struggles with mental illness.
As a teen I dealt with a condition my doctor referred to as chronic (constant
or reoccurring) severe depression. After dealing with it for about a year and a half my
parents noticed the scars on my wrists and put me into therapy. The support was
amazing, and helped me to change my outlooks on the things at the time. I had put so
much importance some things that they had such a negative impact on me when I did
not succeed. She coached me back into the search to find out what truly made me
happy.
Throughout my partial recovery though I got tired of waiting for the medication
and therapy to take their full affect and began to self-medicate once I realized it would
help my momentary boughts of severe depression. I developed a fake it till you make it
attitude about being happy, while at the same time refusing to put much effort into
anything that wasnt helping (for example school and some relationships). This
self medicating coupled with a long history of concussions triggered
my schizophrenia and psychosis. This time though I reacted differently with a little help
from my friends and family.

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I quit cannabis shortly after I had to drop out of college and was forced to enter
the "First Step" early psychosis intervention program in order to be released from
hospital. With the help of a dedicated psychiatrist, social worker, occupational therapist,
and my fellow clients I have recovered to the point that in some ways my mental health
is better than before the triggering of my psychosis and schizophrenia.
But there are many other health professionals that helped me through my injuries
in judo and from teenage antics. Over the past ten years I have been treated by autstiopaths, chiropractors, sports therapists and message therapists; depending on the type
of injury, how it occurred and the recommendations of my doctor. I found all effective in
their own way and have experienced how much difference expertise with each type of
injury can make.
Finally, for actually health problems I have seen doctors and a specailalist on
brain damage. All the doctors I have visited have been correct in their diagnosis of what
my ailment was and how to treat it. And the tests I had to undergo when being tested for
brain damage (baseline testing) were all explained to me until I understood what they
measured and why a difference would be seen if I was experiencing growing brain
damage with new concussions.
Recreation
My father wanted me to be able to choose which ever sports I wanted to be able
to do socially as an adult so I got lessons in many different sports growing up. I played
hockey for five years at a non competive level, I played soccer for five years, swimming
lessons, two summers of tennis camp and I have been playing golf since I was five

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years old, and I practiced judo for ten years, five non competively and five competively. I
greatly appreciate the comfort level with sports that my father helped me to develop,
especially as many of these sports are social nuances that can help you in subtle ways
to blend in in life.
He also taught me to play billiards, to work out regularly and I drink on occasion,
three things I feel it is important socially to be able to do. I also realize that I have had a
lot more opportunities than most people have, including my own father who worked hard
to make sure he experienced all these social nuances before they were expected of
him. I feel like being able to enjoy whatever recreation your superior engages in can
help me gain a personal confidence socially and in the work field.
Diet and Food
Growing up most meals were not culturally specific but were a blend of European
cultures, which I grew to enjoy. I was taught that eating out was a treat or a necessity
when you grew hungry and were away from home. Through judo I learned to manage
my weight through everyday healthy eating and exercise, I have since incorporated
these habits into my everyday life since quitting judo.
Clothing
I prefer to dress in brands known only by certain sub groups of my generation,
but I refuse to spend a lot of money on a single piece of clothing (top price $50). This
usually means I look for sales on my favorite brands or order clothes online, to save
commission.

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I tend not to dress in a professional way, but have no problem doing so when an
occasion arises such as a funeral, interview or wedding. I do feel very comfortble when
dressed professionally but it feels fake like Im trying to be something Im not yet.
Art and Expression
I enjoy two kinds of art and expression more than any others, those are literature
and music. My favorite types for literature are philosophy (nietzche), meta physical
science fiction (Enders Game Series) and historical fiction (Bernard Cornwell). I hate
horror because I feel it indirectly mocks people who suffer from metal health problems
and deal with the same kind of delusions on a daily basis. My favorite kinds of music are
Rap/ Hip Hop because it is poetry put to a beat, tells a story, incorporates metaphors,
and focuses on things other than love (the good stuff does anyway). Classic Rock
because they describe society and the way we live in an often beautifully depressing
way (Im a Stranger Here). I hate techno, dubstep and house music, to me music is
about lyrics; music without lyrics doesnt make you think.
Family Process
I was spoiled a lot as a young child till I was a young teenager (1-13), at fourteen
I got my first job as a dishwasher at local Italian restaurant. What my parents were
trying to teach me was that, I would always have their support but if I wanted extra it
was time to earn it. Over my life they had taught me to be understanding and nonjudgemental of others. They also taught me never to lightly place blame for anything. All
of these lessons have become important in how I live my life today, hoping to become a

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human service professional, still living with my parents so I can afford school and
hopefully continually growing into a better more self-sufficient person.

Language and Communication


I grew up in an English speaking household, and was taught from birth. No other
languages were spoken fluently in the house hold. From a young age I have struggled
with spelling and grammar despite practicing my writing and reading at every
opportunity. My parents made a point to try and teach me to only swear in
unprofessional settings (depending who was around) and also to not swear un
necessarily. They also tried to coach me against using slang as a teen (a failed effort).
And taught me to use as respectful language as is appropriate for the circumstance
(Aunt, Uncle, Sir, Mamme).
Social Status
I come from an upper middle class family, and have been given every opportunity
to succeed that could be given to me. I was also coached through every opportunity I
had to earn. I feel I came from extreme privilege and I could have had a lot easier path
than most had I not been so hard on myself. I have an older sister finishing an
undergraduate degree who if asked would likely say the same. Having family and
friends from all levels of society I have some cultural knowledge of each from working
poor, to extremely wealthy and have seen the similarities and differences between them

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(while realizing I cannot generalize what Ive found, I have still found it helpful in making
new friends).
Religion
I have been raised Roman Catholic and grew to love and believe in my religion.
Although I do have many conflicting views which make it difficult for me to identify with
over-devote Catholics. Mainly these conflicts arise around the ability for the church to
deny communion to those who identify as homosexual or divorced; two things I think
people cannot control. In my opinion homosexuality is not a choice and denying them
communion is the ultimate punishment for any devote Catholic. Being denied
forgiveness for your other sins because of Gods choice in your making; is in my opinion
extremely hypocritical. And to be denied it on the grounds of divorce is equally
hypocritical and sexism in my opinion. Hypocritical because youre asking people to
suffer with a choice even if the other person changes, begins making decisions that
could negatively impact your life or the lives of your children, or begins to do things that
destroy you as a person. And sexist because I feel it was a rule made historically so that
males could exercise dominance over women.
I am currently considering guidance on the issue in order to determine if I should
stay with my faith. I will always believe, but I would like to practice my faith with people
of a similar mind-set.
Small groups
I have many small groups in which I associate, most of which fall under the
categories of friend, support or family groups. I have about four major friend groups

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between which I try to spend most of my spare time. All groups are diverse in social
status and life experience. Then I have my support groups at First Step who give me
advice on my day-to-day problems as well as coach me through my recovery. Lastly I
have my family groups mainly divided by side of family (mothers, fathers family) and by
how often they choose to attend family events. They serve the role both as support and
friends.
Five areas of privilege
Appearance
As white, blonde, at a height of 5 feet, 11 inches, thin, male and with no accent; I
come across as a stereotypical Canadian and for that reason I am privileged. I would
have an easier time obtaining a job as a server or in any customer interaction field
because the people hiring would think more people would identify and be comfortable
with me serving/helping them. I would have an easier time gaining respect from peers in
an intellectual setting as a white male. I didnt have to deal with stereotypes growing up,
like most non-Caucasian cultures do in Canada. I was judged based on my athletic and
intellectual ability, and my personality, without the prejudices others must endure.
Sexual Orientation
As a heterosexual male, I have escaped any stereotypes, predijues and
discrimination due to my sexual orientation. I observed in high school how hard it was
for people of the LGTB community to make lasting friends in certain peer groups. To be
honest I had some stereotypes before I made a friendship in school with a bi-sexual
male. We had been friends for two years before he told me and this was when I realized

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that it had nothing to do with your personality or appearance. I have also witnessed
many people be ostracized from any social group for being too much like the
stereotypes associated with the LGTB community. From my experience most people
are comfortable with it as long as they can ignore it.
This is why I have grown to understand how it would be easier for me to get
almost any job, or be accepted in a professional, athletic or intellectual setting; because
not only are the LGTB community stereotyped and forced into a box, but when they
conform with these stereotypes they are often shunned from society or laughed at. This
is my opinion based off my experiences though.

Geographical Location of Birth


Being born in Canada (as a non-aboriginal person) I have been privileged my
entire life. I have never felt outcast or put on a pedestal, I was judged on the basic
components of my personality. I have never known what it was like to have to worry
about the quality of water I was drinking, my health care has always been free and/or
covered under a benefits package, I can expect a fair wage in the job market and I have
never felt what it is like to be made fun of for my ethnicity (or at least what its like to be
made fun of for being what I identify as which is Canadian).
Gender

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As a male I am part of systematically dominant group, benefits of being part of


this group are, higher wages, greater job opportunity, less judged based on appearance,
and greater intellectual respect. All of these things are societal constructs to stay in
control and to keep men in a position that women need us to take care of them. What is
sad is that even now that we have admitted (as a majority) that these things are unfair,
we are still generations later seeing proof that these differences in societal acceptance
are still strongly engrained in Canadian culture.
Ethnicity
Coming from an Irish, Italian family I rank high on the immigrant scale. This
means I am very white and that my political, and religious views are the same as
Canadas traditional views. I have never known what it was like to be scared of calling
myself a Catholic, except when talking to a more devoted Catholic. I have always been
taught to except that others come from different viewpoints and most be respected,
especially political view points; and for this reason have never been judged for my own.
I have however witnessed people with more extreme views being judged for their views
on politics and religion.
Privilege in the human Service Field
Political Transference
My biggest worry of going into the human service field is that I will be working
with the very people being held down in life by my privilege, and that people of my
gender, appearance and race tend to have the most power to influentially discriminate
against people who do not conform to our views of how Canadian society should be.

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For this reason, when people of my demographic are racist or sexist or homophobic, it
has a lasting effect on those targeted and they may blame all people within this
demographic for the wrong doings put onto them. It would affect my emotional, political,
moral and religious views (and has already just learning about it), at a rate that would
cause me a lot of personal stress and discomfort. This will in time though help me
become a better, culturally competent person and through understanding become more
empathetic and caring.
Being able to relate
Another big problem I for see working in the human service field is my ability to
understand how much damage not being part of a privileged group can do. I have seen
its effects first had on friends and acquaintances, but have rarely been part of an
unprivileged group and therefore, worry I may not fully grasp the hurt that comes with
discrimination and prejudice. Again though as I grow to understand, I can only become
more aware of how I personally perpetuate the systematic discrimination of different
demographics, and therefore be able to do more to help.