Culturally Competent Social Work Practice

Essay by nappiecat January 2009

download word file, 10 pages 3.0

Diversity in the United StatesThe melting pot idea has been used repeatedly to suggest that all peoples who come to America somehow are stirred into a giant pot and come out looking, thinking, and acting alike. However, the U.S. is an enormously diverse society. The melting pot concept is not applicable to the experiences of "people of color."Even terminology we use to discuss diversity is full with problems. For example, 'minority' is offensive to many who believe it implies inferiority and reflects racism. In addition, similar concern is raised about 'race.' While race is used routinely in our legal system, the concept is more social than biological in importance. Issue such as "history, tradition, and personal training and experiences" are what individuals use to designate themselves as members of particular groups.

Common Terminology1.Ableism: Discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities2.Cultural Competence: an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures.

Cultural competence is comprised of four components: (a) Awareness of one's own cultural worldview, (b) Attitude towards cultural differences, (c) Knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) cross-cultural Skills.

3.Ethnocentrism: the tendency to look at the world primarily from the perspective of one's own culture. Ethnocentrism often entails the belief that one's own race or ethnic group is the most important and/or that some or all aspects of its culture are superior to those of other groups.

4.Individual Racism: a belief about the superiority/inferiority of an ethnic group5.Institutional Racism: a form of racism, which occurs specifically in institutions such as public bodies, corporations, and universities.

6.Minority: any group or person lacking power or resources when compared to the dominant majority in a community or society.

7. People of Color: groups whose skin color differs from that of the community's predominant...