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Revista Universidad y Sociedad

versión On-line ISSN 2218-3620

Universidad y Sociedad vol.14 no.2 Cienfuegos mar.-abr. 2022  Epub 02-Abr-2022


Articulo original

Metaphorical perceptions of teacher candidates regarding cultural diversity: a cross-cultural comparison

Percepciones metafóricas de los candidatos a docentes con respecto a la diversidad cultural: una comparación intercultural

0000-0002-8191-2647Yavuz Ercan Gul1  * 

1 Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University. Kyrgyzstan


This study was aimed at revealing the perceptions of Turkish and Kyrgyz teacher candidates on cultural diversity. In addition, the study aimed to make an intercultural comparison based on the metaphors produced regarding cultural diversity. In this research study carried out in keeping with the qualitative content analysis design used to analyze the data using metaphors. At the end of the study, the Turkish teacher candidates produced 52 metaphors in six categories. The metaphors produced by Turkish participants are grouped into sea, plant, food, nature, colour, and other. The Kyrgyz teacher candidates, on the other hand, produced 29 metaphors in six categories. The metaphors produced by the Kyrgyz participants are grouped into plant, food, animal, nature, colour, and other. The metaphors produced by the participants from both countries focused on the positive aspects of cultural diversity. This situation has shown that Turkish and Kyrgyz teacher candidates are positive about cultural diversity and therefore do not have a negative attitude toward other races.

Key words: Metaphor; Kyrgyz; Turkish; cultural diversity; comparison


Este estudio tuvo como objetivo revelar las percepciones de los candidatos a maestros turcos y kirguís sobre la diversidad cultural. Además, el estudio tuvo como objetivo realizar una comparación intercultural a partir de las metáforas producidas sobre la diversidad cultural. En esta investigación estudio realizado de acuerdo con el diseño de análisis de contenido cualitativo utilizado para analizar los datos mediante metáforas. Al final del estudio, los candidatos a profesores de turco produjeron 52 metáforas en seis categorías. Las metáforas producidas por los participantes turcos se agrupan en mar, plantas, alimentos, naturaleza, color y otras. Los candidatos a profesores de Kirguistán, por otro lado, produjeron 29 metáforas en seis categorías. Las metáforas producidas por los participantes kirguisos se agrupan en plantas, alimentos, animales, naturaleza, color y otras. Las metáforas producidas por los participantes de ambos países se centraron en los aspectos positivos de la diversidad cultural. Esta situación ha demostrado que los candidatos a profesores de Turquía y Kirguistán son positivos sobre la diversidad cultural y, por lo tanto, no tienen una actitud negativa hacia otras razas.

Palabras-clave: Metáfora; kirguís; turco; diversidad cultural; comparación


Global migrations, which have recently gained momentum, are forcing large and modern countries toward becoming more differentiated demographically and culturally. On the other hand, the modernization of the states brings with it a great extent of cultural diversity. Countries are turning into structures with large numbers of cultures and identities because of the migration they receive, and they have to deal with the problems related to the resulting cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is defined as the representation of people belonging to different ethnic groups with different cultural characteristics on a single social system. According to Kivisto (2012), cultural diversity is not only a demographic change but also a cultural reality. In other words, cultural diversity, which Vertovec (2007) refers to as "mega diversity," is a social structure wherein a wide variety of variables, such as culture, identity, ethnicity, religion, and language, are present in any population.

Instead of assimilating the cultures of minority peoples by melting them into the culture of the main population, the states that host different cultures today have begun to accept and value the differences between ethnic groups. In order to prevent possible conflicts that may arise between multicultural societies, states should approach all cultures equally and value the differences of each. Another method of preventing conflicts is the racial blindness approach, also known as the color blindness approach, which stipulates and envisages that ethnic distinctions be ignored and disregarded and not be considered. States have to face such problems in order to grow economically because cultural diversity provides advantages in terms of generating ideas, learning, image, and human resources in the field of economics. Diversity implies a broader perspective and engenders different ideas for problem solving in terms of the workforce (Herrera Rivas, et al., 2022).

This study is aimed at revealing the perceptions of teacher candidates in Turkey and Kyrgyzstan on cultural diversity. The Republic of Turkey is a state with a large number of cultures, mostly made up of Muslims but aims to collect these cultures under the umbrella of a single nation. In this context, it is a contrast that the country has different cultures and tries to adopt a single culture. For this reason, knowing the perceptions of Turks regarding cultural diversity promises to also show whether the Turkish people are ready for cultural diversity.

The fact that Kyrgyzstan has preserved its culturally diverse structure throughout its history has been effective in choosing the country for research. According to 2021 data, more than 20 ethnic groups, mainly Uzbeks and Russians, live in Kyrgyzstan. It is very difficult to say how many nations lived in Kyrgyzstan, which was one of the countries with the highest number of nations during the USSR period. According to Soviet archival sources1, Kyrgyz, Russian, Uzbek, Tatar, Uyghur, Kipchak, Kazakh, Dungan peoples lived in this geography in the early years of the USSR, while large ethnic populations such as Germans, Ukrainians, Azerbaijanis, Tajiks, Armenians, and Turks were added later. Therefore, Kyrgyz people have been living in cultural diversity for a long time. Whether this situation causes a negative change in the attitude of the Kyrgyz people toward different cultures is a matter of research. Knowing the level at which societies become mentally ready for the multicultural global world of the future also contributes to the plans for the future, particularly in the field of education. This study aims to compare the perceptions of both Turkish and Kyrgyz people on cultural diversity. Studies on cultural comparison contribute to a better understanding of cultures. Thus, both individuals and communities become aware of who and what they are as well as who and what they are not.

Metaphors, which play an important role in human cognition by providing an understanding of the concepts that constitute the thought system, gained importance in the scientific world with Lakoff & Johnson's (1980), study on metaphor. The fact that the language used is generally metaphorical is also considered a way to understand and conceptualize the world (Hong-bo & Wen-juan, 2010). Metaphors provide an explanation of the unknown with a known and familiar metaphor. Although it is not exactly similar to the real one, an attempt is made to say that two different things are the same, and thus, a situation is compared to the real one (Ahmady, et al., 2016). In other words, it is expressed as seeing, describing, or interpreting some unusual concepts, objects, events, or actions in terms of something familiar.

There is quite a great deal of studies on metaphor in the field of education in the literature. The subjects of these studies generally focus on teacher perception, student perception, perception of manager, and the use of metaphors in teaching. There are studies on cultural diversity in the literature. Abernethy (2002), in his work, where he described how metaphors can be used to explore cultural differences between groups, revealed metaphors about the relationship between cultures. Gannon (2000), identified cultural metaphors by asking students to write metaphors in their culture. In his study, Kurum (2018), determined teachers’ views on citizenship education in the context of cultural diversity. In his study, Güçlü Yilmaz (2020), demonstrated with teacher perceptions how the understanding of multicultural education is adapted in educational practices.

As seen above, although many studies study metaphor in the literature, no study exists of metaphor in the form of a cultural comparison directly related to cultural diversity. This study, which aims to comparatively reveal the perceptions of cultural diversity through the metaphors produced by teacher candidates, is the first study conducted on this subject. The aim of this research study is to demonstrate the approaches of teacher candidates to different cultures through the metaphors they have produced regarding cultural diversity. To this end, answers to the following questions were sought:

What are the metaphors that Turkish teacher candidates derive about cultural diversity?

What are the metaphors that Kyrgyz teacher candidates derive about cultural diversity?

What is the meaning (positive-negative) that Turkish and Kyrgyz teacher candidates attribute to the metaphors derived from cultural diversity?

Materials and methods

In this section, the model of the research study, the study group, the data collection tool used in the research study, and the collection and analysis of the data are provided.

Research Model

This research study is a descriptive study aimed at determining teacher candidates' perceptions of cultural diversity on the basis of the qualitative research method through metaphors. According to Lakoff (1992), metaphor is a form of expression wherein one or more words are used outside of their traditional meaning to express a similar concept. Lakoff & Johnson (1980), stated that metaphors reveal past events, our daily lives, experiences, and beliefs. Therefore, it was decided to use metaphors in determining teacher candidates' perceptions of cultural diversity.

Study Group

A total of 311 teacher-candidate senior students of the Faculty of Education of Karamanoglu Mehmetbey university from Turkey and senior students of the Faculty of Education of the Kyrgyz national university from Kyrgyzstan formed the study group. The questionnaire was applied directly by the researcher between February 10-February 22, 2020. Participants were given 30 minutes to fill out the form. Metaphors that were not thought relevant to cultural diversity were eliminated from the forms of the participants, and 271 forms remained.

Data Collection and Analysis

The data of the study were collected using a survey form from February 10-February 22, 2020. The data of the research were first collected from Kyrgyzstan and then from Turkey. First, the purpose of the study was explained to the teacher candidates from both countries, and the ones who wanted to participate in the research voluntarily were asked to fill out the questionnaire.

Each participant was given a number, and the metaphors they created were saved in an Excel file. From the metaphors created by teacher candidates, those that did not fit the purpose of the research study or did not specify any reason were removed. In this context, 271 participants developed appropriate metaphors for cultural diversity from the forms obtained from 311 teacher candidates, while 40 forms were not assessed. The metaphors created by the participants were analyzed using the content analysis technique. Content analysis reveals codes and categories from raw data. The metaphors created are divided into conceptual categories.

The process of analyzing and interpreting the metaphors created by the participants consisted of the following stages:

  1. Each form obtained from the teacher candidates was given a number.

  2. Metaphors created by teacher candidates that were not appropriate for the purpose of the study or were incompletely filled out were omitted.

  3. Metaphors created by teacher candidates about cultural diversity were transferred to a computer and sorted in numerical order.

  4. After the ranking, the metaphors created by the participants were reviewed again, and the suitability of the metaphors for the purpose of this research study was examined. Metaphors that could not be linked to the purpose of creation were eliminated.

  5. Afterwards, the metaphors created by the participants were grouped into conceptual categories in order for them to accord with their intended use.

  6. Finally, the number of participants was calculated and frequencies that referred to each category and metaphor were interpreted.

Information on the Validity and Reliability of the Research Study

Validity and reliability are important criteria to ensure the accuracy of the results of scientific studies. Particularly in qualitative studies, it is necessary to specify a detailed report on how the information was obtained and how the researchers reached the result. In this context, the validity and reliability of the data collection tool is of great importance. Because the result of the research is created by the information obtained from the vehicle. Therefore, the questionnaire form prepared to be presented to the participants was first presented to a different expert. Since presenting research notes to different researchers increases the validity of the data, two experts were assisted to understand whether metaphors found in categories created in the research study represent the category. The categories created by the researcher and the metaphors created by the students were presented to the experts, who were asked to place the metaphors into categories. Groups formed by the experts were compared with groups formed by the researcher.

Results and discussion

When Table 1 is examined, it is seen that the derived metaphors focus on the positive and beautiful sides of cultural diversity. For example, a participant said “cultural diversity is like a treasure with various jewels in it,” or as another participant said, “cultural diversity is like a garden with all kinds of flowers." All of the metaphors created seem to focus on the positive aspects of cultural diversity. It was determined that no metaphor for the negative aspect of cultural diversity was produced by the participants.

Table 1 - Metaphors that participants derived for cultural diversity. 

Country Category Metaphors
Turkey Sea Sea, fish, octopus
Plant Botanical garden, flower garden, forest, fruit, tree
Food Salt and pepper, pizza, baked potatoes, spices, mixed snacks, vegetable soup, table, surprise eggs, ashura, mixed vegetable pot
Nature Nature, Snowflake, spring, water, earth, various climate, bright star
Color Rainbow, mosaic, color painting, colors, colored pencils, white color
Object Car, apartment, newspaper, treasure, two hands, brick, orchestra, multi-window house, patched quilt, jigsaw, encyclopedia, novel
Other Love, DNA, inheritance, children's day, state, race, herbalist, journey, neighborhood
Kyrgyzstan Plant Various plants, Flower garden, Forest
Food Vegetable soup, Nuts, Chewing gum
Animal Domestic animals, Poultry, Parrot, Fish, Two separate sheep herds
Nature Rainbow, Sunlight, Four seasons, Fog, Fall season, climate, lake
Color Colors, a colored carpet, colored pencils
Other Five fingers, gemstones, religions, country, library, fingerprint, market exchange, computer

Findings on Metaphors Derived by Turkish Students

In this section, 59 metaphors derived from the participants from Turkey regarding cultural diversity are given. While six conceptual categories were created for metaphors created by Turkish participants, metaphors that did not fall into any category were presented as “other” (Table 2).

Table 2 - Conceptual categories created from metaphors derived by participants regarding the concept of “cultural diversity”. 

Categories Number of metaphors Total
f %
Metaphors about the sea 3 6 4.3
Metaphors about plant 5 36 25.7
Metaphors about food 10 16 11.4
Metaphors about nature 7 10 7.1
Metaphors about color 6 41 29.3
Other metaphors 21 31 22.1
Total 52 140 100

1. Metaphors About the Sea

Some participants attributed a positive meaning to cultural diversity and compared it with creatures living in the sea or ocean. They stated that the abundance of living species is the richness of the sea. While one of the participants explained that fish dominate by eating other fish within the measure of their own strength; he compared this with the hostility of some cultures against different cultures. Another participant stated that the fish in the sea complement each other as well as the cultures do.

2. Metaphors About Plants

Participants generally compared cultural diversity with flowers and gardens and emphasized the positive aspects. They said that each flower has its own unique scent, color, and shape, as well as its own characteristics. They stated that when these features come together, they turn the place into a cultural garden in harmony rather than conflict. One participant drew attention to the freedom dimension of cultural diversity and stated that each of the plants in the garden are their gardens, not pots or bouquets. He said that by combining various cultures thus, equality and social structure is achieved, prejudices are destroyed, and content is integrated. While one of the participants compared cultural diversity with a tropical forest with many different plant species in it, he said that it resembles a tropical forest as it contains different cultures. He stated that the loss of a plant species in tropical forests harms the entire forest, and similarly, the loss of a culture harms universal human culture.

3. Metaphors About Foods

It is seen that ashura is frequently used in the food-related metaphors that the participants derived. The candidate teachers stated their reason for comparing cultural diversity to Ashura as that although there are many different foods in it, they all create a very nice flavor when they come together. One participant compared vegetables with distinctive flavors to a dish with a different taste, saying that the reason for this is that each culture has its own beauty but that cultures come together to reveal a brighter beauty. Another participant compared cultural diversity with a rich table with different fine dishes on it.

4. Metaphors About Nature

The rainbow was the most used metaphor among the ones that the participants derived about nature. They stated that the reason for this is that each culture represents a color and that a colorful harmony and a beautiful image are achieved with all of them combined. For example, one participant said that if a rainbow were made of a single color, it would not be a rainbow, and they said that cultures should stand shoulder to shoulder to achieve such harmony. Another participant likened cultural diversity to an area wherein various climates are experienced. He said that a place with one climate is boring, and the vegetation does not differ.

5. Metaphors About Color

The participants likened cultural diversity to colors and said that each culture is a color that has its own beauty. They argued that the desired beauty cannot appear in a picture using a single color but that pictures made with very different colors are bound to be beautiful. They said that people who grow up in a single culture see life in only one color, while people who grow up in a society with cultural diversity have a different and broader perspective. Some participants likened cultural diversity to the white color that all colors combine to form.

6. Other Metaphors

Wealth has been most likened to cultural diversity among all metaphors. In order to express that cultural diversity is valuable, metaphors such as treasure and heritage are also used in addition to wealth. In terms of the spiritual coexistence of different cultures, it has been stated that it contributes to the development of people in terms of perspective, respect for differences, and tolerance. A participant likened cultural diversity to a journey, saying that a person learns new things in places they visit and see, just as a person learns new things in places where there is cultural diversity.

One of the participants likened it to a patchwork quilt, saying that the quilt appeared to have an original pattern when the patches were combined although they were taken from different fabrics. He said that each piece of fabric is also a culture, and when combined, a beautiful and useful pattern emerges. Another participant likened cultural diversity to a multiwindow house, stating that a different landscape is viewed from each window. He stated that each culture gives a different perspective to the person. Another participant compared cultural diversity with an orchestra and said that a beautiful melody is formed using different musical instruments together. Another participant likened cultural diversity to a newspaper with all kinds of art, politics, culture, and sports news in it.

Findings on the Metaphors Derived by Kyrgyz Students

In this section, 36 metaphors derived by participants from Kyrgyzstan regarding cultural diversity are given. While seven conceptual categories were created for the metaphors created by Kyrgyz participants, metaphors that did not fall into any category were presented as “other” (Table 3).

Table 3 Conceptual categories created from metaphors derived by participants regarding the 

Categories Number of metaphors Total
f %
Metaphors about plant 3 26 19.8
Metaphors about food 3 12 9.2
Metaphors about animals 5 22 16.8
Metaphors about nature 7 35 26.7
Metaphors about colors 3 9 6.9
Other metaphors 9 27 20.6
Total 29 131 100

1. Metaphors About Plants

Forests and flower gardens were used extensively among the responses of participants who created plant-related metaphors. One of the participants said that each of the plants in the forest has its own unique shape and needs. While some need a lot of water and sunlight, others need little water and sunlight, but none is worse than the other. He likened the cultures to those plants and stated that no one would be better or worse than the other, regardless of how different they are from each other. The participants who likened it to a flower garden stated that each flower has its own beauty and fragrance, while presenting a beautiful image in the same garden, that cultures have their own beauty, and that when they live together, they reveal a deeper human culture.

2. Metaphors About Food

Participants producing metaphors about food drew attention to the positive and beautiful aspects of cultural diversity. One of the participants, likening cultural diversity to chewing gum, said that chewing gum has different colors, aroma, and flavors, but all of them are called chewing gum, and different cultures also have their own unique beauty, but all of them are accepted as human. Another participant, likening it to a vegetable meal, stated that a meal containing vegetables with different vitamins and flavors becomes unique and beneficial to the human body and that different cultures benefit individuals of that culture when they are together with their own characteristics.

3. Metaphors About Animals

Kyrgyz participants, who expressed cultural diversity with animal metaphors, used the fish metaphor the most. They emphasized that although there are characteristics that distinguish each of the creatures in the sea from each other, they all live together in the sea or in the ocean. Comparing the world with the sea and culture with fish, the participants argued that different cultures can live together in the world. One of the participants likened cultural diversity to pets and said that one pet gives eggs, one gives milk, and others help people with tasks, such as carrying loads and plowing fields. He stated that each culture has a different benefit for mankind. Unlike all other participants, one participant focused on the negative side of cultural diversity and compared it with two different sheep herds. He said that if the sheep herds mingle with each other, they would not be able to recognize each other, and the mothers and offspring would lose each other. He stated that bringing different cultures together leads to such problems and that cultures lose their own characteristics.

4. Metaphors About Nature

The majority of researchers who produced metaphors about nature have focused on the positive aspects of cultural diversity. Some participants likened cultural diversity to the seasons, saying that each season has its own beauty as well as the unique beauty of cultures. Some of the participants who produced positive metaphors likened cultural diversity to the rainbow. Describing the harmony of seven colors in the rainbow, the participants stated that different cultures adapt like different colors. Among the participants, there were those who produced metaphors by drawing attention to the negative aspect of cultural diversity. One of them compared cultural diversity to fog. He stated that the reason for this is that in foggy weather, people are confused in their direction because nothing can be seen clearly, and if a teacher teaches in different cultures like this, they would not know how to teach.

5. Metaphors About Color

Participants who produced metaphors about cultural diversity and color produced positive metaphors. Some of the participants compared it with colored pencils and emphasized that each culture has a different but beautiful color. One of the participants said that although each pen has different colors and properties, they are used for the same purpose of writing and painting, and that they try to make the same world more beautiful, no matter how different the cultures are.

6. Other Metaphors

Apart from the identified categories, participants produced metaphors about cultural diversity that did not fall into any category. All of these metaphors were produced to express the positive aspects of cultural diversity. For example, some of the participants likened cultural diversity to books and libraries. They said that there is different information in each book and that people learn more by reading these books as each culture also has many aspects that need to be known. Some participants likened cultural diversity to fingers and fingerprints, saying that the fingerprints’ being different from each other or the fact that the fingers are different from each other is a gain; hence, it is useful that cultures are also different from each other.

In this study, the perceptions of teacher candidates in Turkey and Kyrgyzstan on cultural diversity were investigated. In this age, where being a modern state depends on the condition of having cultural wealth, it is necessary to learn people's perspectives on cultural diversity and determine whether they are ready for this situation. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the establishment of educational programs that consider cultural diversity and to train teachers ready for cultural diversity. The study revealed some important results regarding cultural diversity.

In the study, it was understood that Turkish participants often used the fish metaphor among their sea-related metaphors related to cultural diversity. Kyrgyz participants, on the other hand, used a variety of animal species in addition to fish. All of the participants using the fish metaphor emphasized the positive aspect of cultural diversity. The Turkish participants who stated that the abundance of fish species in the sea is the richness of the sea said that cultural diversity is cultural richness. Adler (2008), said that cultural diversity is a wealth of culture and that it increases problem solving, flexibility, and production, as well as contribute to freer and broader expression of perspectives and ideas. While the Turkish participants did not produce metaphors that express the negative side of cultural diversity, among the Kyrgyz participants, there were participants who drew attention to the negative side of cultural diversity. He commented that when sheep herds mixed with each other, the offspring would not be able to find their mothers, and there would be chaos. Adler (2008), also noted this situation, saying that cultural diversity can sometimes lead to confusion because of improper communication. Some researchers stated that heterogeneous social structures create chaos in terms of economic situation, social trust, and social cohesion.

The Turkish and Kyrgyz participants who formed metaphors about plants emphasized the positive aspects of cultural diversity and frequently used the metaphor of the flower garden for cultural diversity. As in the fish metaphor, the participants expressed the opinion that having a lot of flowers in the garden would beautify the garden, so the more cultural diversity in the society the more beautiful that society would be. Participants who also used the forest metaphor believe that the extinction of a plant species from a garden or forest damages the forest, so does the extinction of a culture in a multicultural society damage that society. Gul (2020) stated that the disappearance of a culture that forms the depth of universal culture means the loss of universal human culture. As in the forest metaphor, the disappearance of a plant species damages the forest, while the disappearance of any culture can be considered the loss of all humanity.

Participants from both countries drew attention to the positive side of cultural diversity with metaphors derived from food. While Turkish participants used the metaphor of ashura, or the mixed vegetable pot, Kyrgyz participants used the metaphor of the mixed vegetable pot. Participants explained that foods used in mixed vegetable pots, or ashura, which have their own flavors and vitamins, are even more delicious and useful by exhibiting harmony in the same dish. Some of the Turkish participants said that individuals would be more intelligent, social, liberal, tolerant, and productive in a multicultural society.

Florida (2002), also investigated the relationship between cultural diversity, productivity, and innovation in American society and found that individuals raised in cultural diversity are more productive and innovative. Lynch (1992), said that an education that is suitable for cultural diversity would make children more respectful, tolerant, and sensitive to solidarity. This is because children raised in multicultural societies and educated in accordance with cultural diversity get used to differences and are more respectful of differences when they grow up. Participants from both countries frequently used the metaphor of the rainbow among the ones about nature. The reason for this is that although the rainbow consists of different colors, they create a harmonious, beautiful image. Participants likened this view of the rainbow to that of a society wherein different cultures are present.

They stated that the colors would all create a harmonious and beautiful image together. While the metaphor that the Turkish participants frequently produced outside of the rainbow was climate, Kyrgyz participants used the metaphor of the seasons. Participants who produced those two metaphors had similar reasons for choosing them. They stated that each climate and season has a different beauty, that each of the cultures has its own beauty, and that when they come together, they would be as beautiful as the places where many seasons or climates are experienced. There were those who produced negative metaphors for cultural diversity among the Kyrgyz participants.

The reasons were cultural conflict, not being able to understand, incomprehension, and confusion in education. Some researchers (Deaux, 2006; Benet, 2012) argue that cultural diversity also paves the way for cultural conflicts as it alters individuals' ethnic and cultural group memberships. According to Milliken, et al. (2003), cultural diversity is a situation that has both positive and negative aspects. Its positive aspects are generally manifested in the form of information sharing and different perspectives, while its negative aspects are more often manifested as communication problems and conflict.

The Turkish participants expressed a common view on cultural diversity and stated that each culture has its own positive features and that these characteristics will positively affect the individuals in that culture. In other words, participants stated that the perspectives of people who grew up in an environment with cultural diversity would also be broader than those of other people. Amaram (2007) states that in a culturally diverse group, better problem solving can be achieved and multiple perspectives can be provided in solving complex problems. In societies where there is no cultural diversity, they emphasized that just as with painting with a single color, individuals will grow up in a single feature and have a single point of view. Kyrgyz participants also emphasized the positive aspects of cultural diversity and stated that living in a culturally diverse society improves people.

The concept of wealth has been frequently used in metaphors produced by the Turkish participants in the other metaphors category. Therefore, they again focused on the positive aspects of cultural diversity and said that there is something that a person should learn from each culture. Although the metaphors in the “other” category are different, they are generally united in a common view. All of them consist of metaphors explaining that cultural diversity contributes to human development and brings different perspectives. The Kyrgyz participants also produced metaphors drawing attention to the positive aspects of cultural diversity in the “other” category. They emphasized that as people get to know different cultures, their intellectual structures will develop further.


In general, the metaphors about cultural diversity produced by both Turkish and Kyrgyz participants focused on two aspects of cultural diversity. One is that cultures have their own beauty, while the other is that people living in cultural diversity have positive gains, such as a broader perspective and learning new information. Participants from both countries generally emphasized the positive aspects of cultural diversity. Some Kyrgyz participants, however, objected to cultural diversity and talked about confusion and conflict. The fact that Kyrgyzstan has not yet completed the post-USSR nationalization process may be cited as the reason. Because Kyrgyzstan is a country, the vast majority of which consists of Kyrgyz people, but also includes a large number of ethnic identities. Therefore, both preserving and developing their national identity and trying to get rid of the influence of the USSR led the Kyrgyz people to be more timid about “other ethnic groups.”

In multicultural societies, sometimes racist thoughts manifest themselves in various ways. It can be assumed that a multicultural society causes groupings, especially between the main ethnic group in society and other ethnic groups. However, looking at the results of this study, it seems that participants do not think so, and they believe that a multicultural society will make a positive contribution to the development of individuals. This demonstrated that both Turkish and Kyrgyz participants are ready to live in a culturally diverse society.


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Received: January 04, 2022; Accepted: March 08, 2022

*Articulo original: E-mail:

El autor declara no tener conflictos de intereses.

El autor participó en la concepción de la investigación, recuperación y análisis de la información, análisis de los documentos y redacción del trabajo.

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