The Five Stages of Culture – Stage 2

Multi-cultural: Celebration of attitudes and behaviors relating to, or comprised of several ethnic or racial groups

The term multicultural is the most frequently referenced term of all of the marketplace groups. This is why it’s important to make certain we’re all communicating the same sentiment when we use terms like “multicultural.”

Synonym – Pluralism

Where you might have seen this term used before:

Quotas – Often referenced when maintaining a ratio of cultures in hiring practices and immigration policies.

Education – Often depicted as a “salad bowl” (a term revised from melting pot about 20 years ago) multicultural supports the idea that a society made up of a plurality of cultures is made better by maintaining a variety of cultures.

Sociology – Multicultural is used here to mean peoples with varied backgrounds coexisting within a larger social group, society, or country without compromising their heritage or individualism.

Potential workplace outcomes:

Positive – Encourages many cultures working together while maintaining meaningful subgroups.

Negative – Can exclude those whose groups are underrepresented or those who don’t select or identify with an established group. Many times the attitudes and goals are not shared from culture to culture.


Examples of it in modern fiction and current events:

Disney’s It’s A Small World – This song/ride, represents a global community where all cultures are represented.

Star Trek – Taking it a step further, this show portrays races and cultures from “strange new worlds” boldly going where no man has gone before… together.

Modern Family – This popular series features many individuals with varied backgrounds coexisting as a single family while maintaining what makes them each unique.

Example images: 

These images include a variety of people, cultures, and ethnicities working together.

This article is the second in a five-part series on closing the generational cultural gap between the workplace and the marketplace. Originally published in the State of the Total Market Industry Report,  today’s workplace is two generations culturally removed from the marketplace. This article series provides a contextual lens on workplace and marketplace cultural definitions – understanding these nuanced differences can help identify and  #closethegap between the workplace and marketplace.

Interested in learning more about how to capture your total addressable market? Please be sure to check out these posts:

The Age of Accelerations: Why The Workplace Must Change To Meet The Demands of The New Marketplace

Why Quotas Are Not Enough

Mono-cultural Defined

Cross-cultural Defined

Poly-cultural Defined

Trans-cultural Defined

Or get the industry’s first report on The State Of The Total Market Industry Vertical here.