Creating Safe Spaces


Demonstrate your understanding of the characteristics of culturally safe or unsafe spaces by discussing those spaces identified in the clip.

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Several issues have been highlighted regarding the issues of existence of a safe place. It has to be ensuring that the workplace, community or the educational institution is a safer place for the people to operate. We found cross culture in almost every organization. It has also been evident from many cases that regular disputes arise due to this cross culture scenario (Salvendy, 2012). Not only on the basis of cross culture but due to other reasons such as gay and lesbians fighting for their rights because they have been bullied at their educational or work place. All these scenarios create a vibe that creating a safe place is indeed the foremost requirement in recent scenario.

This paper is based on the understanding of the importance of creating a safe place for the people to work with greater efficiency and being confident about their safety in the places where they have to operate. For the same purpose, analysis based on various researches will be done and by the end of the paper certain recommendations will also be drawn.

Summary of the video clip:

The video is of the famous television daily soap Friends. The show is very popular among the youngsters and every episode becomes a scope of gossip for the regular viewers. The video highlighted the part of the episodes where Rachel, Buffay and Monica were present. The episode is shot in their office premise. The ladies were wearing formal attire which clearly portraits that the whole drama is taking place in the office. In the starting of the video, the three ladies were talking to each other about some dress design. Soon they started smoking. In the office, they were seen smoking in the smoking zone. Rachel was very keen towards smoking but other two girls were not supporting her. At some time, Buffy and Monica were very rude and mean to Rachel. At the end of the video, suddenly Matthew came to the scene and smokes a cigarette from Monica’s cigarette.

Literature review:

Safe spaces: In an educational institution, safe space or a positive space where any kind of violence is not tolerated. The violence might be related to hate speech, any kind of intolerance related to anti gay lesbian harassment or for the transgender students (Lottrup, Grahn & Stigsdotter, 2013). In countries like United Kingdom or Canada focus has been made towards the creation of this safe place or a positive place in every educational institution. There are several organizations or groups that have contributed towards the development of a safe space.

Cultural intelligence and Capabilities: Cultural quotient or CQ is a termed related to business, academic and even governmental organization. The main intension of the concept is to promote a cross culture importance among the people working in a diverse cultural environment. It has been pointed out by Hughes and Ferrett, (2015), that in present scenario is it very important to develop cross culture intelligence and capabilities to adapt to the situation in which one has to exist for the sake of work or for academic purpose as well. It cannot be neglected that there is presence of cross culture in every field and without an approach of the capability towards adjusting with the fellow people, there would not be any chance of developing a positive outlook towards the other person (Bahr, 2014).

Cultural self awareness: The minimum understanding of one’s identity, rules and culture is what commonly known as self awareness. Once a cultural self awareness is created, people become confident about their own culture and they develop a better confidence towards themselves. As opined by Kossek and Thompson, (2016), creation of self awareness is very important because in certain cases it has been found that, a specific culture dominates other cultures in the particular place of operation.

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Safety does not count only for acknowledging oneself towards their understanding of the culture but there are other aspects as well that are needed to be focused on for gaining proper measures towards safety. As per the view point of Schroeder, (2013), safety measures also count in respect to one’s health. If a person is badly addicted towards certain things such as alcohol or cigarette, it is obvious that the person is not in the boundary of safety measures. In fact, it has been discussed by Fuss, (2013), that if a person is encouraged to quit his or her bad habits, then there is a great possibility that the person can be made motivated to quit bad habits and lead a good and peaceful life.

Observation of the video:

The video was concerned about the smoking habit of these ladies. The video showed that all three of them were highly addicted to smoking. However, Monica was trying to convince Rachel to quit smoking because it is not healthy. On the other side when Rachel try to stop Monica and Buffy from smoking they make fun of Rachel and told her to go away from that place otherwise she will also get involved in smoking and that will hamper her health. All these actions were promoting smoking and at the same time were suggesting that smoking is injurious to health. At the same time, it was also observed that Rachel was at some point of time being bullied from the two other ladies. Although there were no such instances that put impact on the fact that Rachel was not safe in her work environment but her safety has to be assured.

In some other instances, it has been also observed that Monica was trying to convince Rachel to quit smoking although in a much sarcastic way. In this way, Rachel was herself confused about what needs to be done because on one hand when other ladies were opining her to quit smoking, they themselves were enjoying at the work place by smoking and gossiping. Thus, the video depicted that people at many instances are caught by some dominating people and the dominated person has to abide by the orders of the person.


As understood from the several researches done on the topic of safety space, it can be said that for every person, a safe work place is indeed required (Wyss et al., 2013). Unless a person is safe in the places where the person is present, may it be a work place or an educational institute, there remains concerns regarding the person’s care. There have been many instances when the victim of the situation is so badly affected due to ill treatment from their respective place of operation that the person has to undergo certain counseling in order to come out of the threatening situation that the person is facing.

In many places, people usually make fun of each other as a fun activity. However, when the level of mocking with others reaches a particular instance, it is seen that the person who has been made fun of, undergo a critical situation in the life (Shareef et al., 2015). These things hurt the sentiment of few people and incapable of taking such response from other fellow persons, the victim sometimes takes negative approaches in their life. This also results in suicide cases or in certain instances the person does not feel like connecting with other people and remain isolated from the world.

As understood from the video of the television serial Friends, it can be said that it is common that when people are met in groups certain level of mockery and tease each other. Some take these as a joke and enjoy their time being with their peers. However, some people are not strong enough to deal with such situations and it results in adverse situations (Shakya & Maskey, 2013). These facts are needed to be checked and proper attention is to be given that no single person is harmed physically as well mentally.

Recommendations and conclusion:

Analyzing the various issues that a person has to face regarding safety in a work place or educational institute, it can be said that certain instances are to be made to tackle these situations. Every place where there is a mixing of cross culture or presence of gay or lesbian must be monitored by a person. A leader or a care taker has to be appointed for managing the issues that might arise at any instance of time. Moreover, strict guidelines and rules are to be set at every working area that is to be followed by every individual. The issues related to personal bad habits can be resolved by encouraging people about self importance and the ill effects of such habits. If awareness is created and proper care is taken towards ensuring safety for each individual, then it is expected that better and safer places can be easily created for people to sustain in their life. There are a number of NGOs and other non-profit organizations and bodies that are actively engaged in creating a better place for those who find it difficult to survive with others and for whom their companions and peers becomes enemy.

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Reference list:

Bahr, N. J. (2014). Safety and risk assessment: a practical approach. CRC Press.

Fuss, D. (2013). Inside/out: Lesbian theories, gay theories. Routledge.

Harbeck, K. M. (2014). Coming out of the classroom closet: Gay and lesbian students, teachers, and curricula. Routledge.

Herdt, G. (2013). Gay and lesbian youth. Routledge.

Hughes, P., & Ferrett, E. (2015). Introduction to Health and Safety at Work: For the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. Routledge.

Kossek, E. E., & Thompson, R. J. (2016). Workplace Flexibility: Integrating Employer and Employee Perspectives to Close the Research–Practice Implementation Gap. The Oxford Handbook of Work and Family, 255.

Lottrup, L., Grahn, P., & Stigsdotter, U. K. (2013). Workplace greenery and perceived level of stress: Benefits of access to a green outdoor environment at the workplace. Landscape and Urban Planning, 110, 5-11.

Salvendy, G. (2012). Handbook of human factors and ergonomics. John Wiley & Sons.

Schroeder, S. A. (2013). New evidence that cigarette smoking remains the most important health hazard. New England Journal of Medicine, 368(4), 389-390.

Shakya, D. R., & Maskey, R. (2013). ‘Ragging’: What the medical students of a health institute from Eastern Nepal say?. Sunsari Technical College Journal, 1(1), 27-32.

Shareef, M. A., Alamodi, A. A., Abu-Dawas, R. B., & Anwer, L. A. (2015). Losing lives to the peril of ragging. International journal of adolescent medicine and health, 27(1), 105-105.

Wyss, A., Hashibe, M., Chuang, S. C., Lee, Y. C. A., Zhang, Z. F., Yu, G. P., … & Sturgis, E. M. (2013). Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking and the risk of head and neck cancers: pooled analysis in the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology Consortium. American journal of epidemiology,178(5), 679-690.