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SW 8100 : Social Work with Diverse Populations Spring 2008 Dr. Anne Tellett Dr. Priscilla A. Day.

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Presentation on theme: "SW 8100 : Social Work with Diverse Populations Spring 2008 Dr. Anne Tellett Dr. Priscilla A. Day."— Presentation transcript:

1 SW 8100 : Social Work with Diverse Populations Spring 2008 Dr. Anne Tellett Dr. Priscilla A. Day

2 Definition “culture is learned, shared, and transmitted values, beliefs, norms, and life ways of a group which are generally transmitted intergenerationally and influence one’s thinking and action” (Leininger,1998) in (Hogan, 2007, p.15)

3 Culture Is made up of meaning systems, such as beliefs, values, and ways of thinking and viewing the world These are learned through social interactions with family and the community They are largely invisible, unrecognized and not discussed

4 Culture is multi-layered It exists at individual, group and societal level: individual assumptions, values, beliefs shaped by family and social group group membership based on ethnicity, gender, age, class, race, religion, sexual orientation, region of the country, etc. societal institutions that shape our world - schools, workplaces, the media, government

5 Complex process “Intercultural learning is never linear or orderly. It is a process that occurs in complex ways with increasing levels of cultural knowledge” ( Nakanishi & Ritter, 1992)

6 Personal Barriers to Effective Communication Language Nonverbal communication Preconceptions, stereotypes, and discrimination Judgments Stress

7 Personal Process Everyone goes through a process of cultural identity development. This process looks different for people of color and white people.

8 What is privilege? Society gives privilege to groups by assigning unearned overadvantage to some groups and unearned underadvantage to others. It gives status and power to members of the groups with privilege It has nothing to do with merit or ability. It is systemic. Privilege is similar to a fish being unaware of the water in which it lives

9 Many kinds of privilege White privilege Heterosexual privilege Able-bodied privilege Class privilege Privilege based on religion Privilege based on gender Privilege based on formal education

10 Denial The pressure to avoid the realization of privilege is great If we face it, we have to give up the myth of meritocracy…if these things are true, this is not such a free country and one’s life is not what one makes it Many doors are open for certain people through no virtues of their own

11 How can you address privilege? Do not assume that all differences are the same Acknowledge and validate everyone’s experience Avoid assumptions Listen with compassion Create safety and room for everyone Speak from your experience, not generalities

12 “Whites are taught to think of their lives as morally neutral, normative, and average, and also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work that will allow ‘them’ to be like ‘us’” (MacIntosh, 1998).

13 Naming it “To speak of whiteness is, I think, to assign everyone a place in the relations of racism. It is to emphasize that dealing with racism is not merely an option for white people – that, rather, racism shapes white people’s lives and identities in a way that is inseparable from other facets of daily life” (Frankenberg, 1993, p.6).

14 White Racial Identity Development (WRID) –Assumptions (Sue & Sue, 1999) Racism permeates all aspects of life We are all socialized into society - inheriting all the biases, stereotypes and racist attitudes, beliefs and behaviors of the larger society Individuals go through an identifiable process as they perceive themselves as racial beings All interracial relationships are affected by the stage of racial identity each person is in

15 Minority Racial Identity Development (MRID)-Assumptions (Atkinson, Morten, & Sue, 1993) Anchored in belief that all minority groups experience the common force of oppression As a result, all will generate attitudes and behaviors consistent with natural internal struggle to develop strong sense of self-identity and group identity, despite oppressive situations

16 MRID Focus Each stage reflects four kinds of attitudes: Attitudes toward self Attitudes toward others in the same reference group Attitudes toward members of other minority groups Attitudes toward white, majority group

17 Identity Change Stages Stages are integral to learning cultural diversity content An identity change also forces one to change personal paradigm ( meaning, beliefs and deep assumptions about reality)

18 Comments on stage theories racial identity development is not linear people move back and forth from stage to stage, but when revisiting an earlier stage, it will look different because of new experience the concept of recycling through the stages can be seen as a spiral staircase

19 Conformity Stage WRID reliance on stereotypes and societal messages deny discrimination exists, deny own prejudices ethnocentric -little knowledge of other racial groups MRID preference for the values and norms of the dominant culture Desire to assimilate and acculturate Negative attitudes toward their group and themselves as a racial being

20 Dissonance Stage WRID forced to deal with inconsistencies in societal messages realization can result in guilt, shame, anger, and depression MRID Often stimulated by a personal race related experience either an influence by someone with strong ethnic pride or a personal experience with racism State of flux and confusion

21 Resistance and Immersion WRID major questioning of own and others’ racism awakened, suddenly seeing what has been hidden anger toward society, family and friends – feel lied to self-hatred as well as guilt for being part of an oppressive system MRID blanket endorsement of one’s own group, it’s values and attitudes rejection of values and norms of dominant group accepts racism as a reality guilt over previous “naïve” attitudes very negative attitudes toward dominant group

22 Introspection Stage WRID Introspection and reformulation of what it means to be white, after the swing from unconditional acceptance of white identity to rejection of whiteness Feelings of loss and isolation common – can never truly understand a person of color’s experience, but new awareness also cuts off from other white people MRID Comfort and security in own racial identity Turn energy from previous anger to positive exploration of identity issues Views toward own group are no longer blindly positive and individual differentiation is considered Still distrust of the “system” but individual variation of white people is recognized

23 Integrative Synergistic Articulation Awareness and Awareness WRID Understand self as a racial being Aware of sociopolitical influences re: racism Increased commitment toward eradicating oppression Inner sense of security and strength, which is needed to function in society where only marginally accepted MRID Sense of self-fulfillment re: cultural identity Confident and secure Desire to eliminate all forms of oppression High positive regard toward own group, but not blanket acceptance Selective appreciation of whites who seek to halt oppression

24 “Differences do not separate us, but refusing to acknowledge them and the role they take in shaping our relationships and institutions keeps us apart. We need to rethink difference – use it as a place to reconstruct our world.” (Audre Lorde)

25 References Hogan, M. (2007). The four skills of cultural diversity competence: A process for understanding and practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education. Ponterotto, J. and Pederson, P. (1993). Preventing prejudice: A guide for counselors and educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. Sue, D. W., & Sue, D. (1999). Counseling the culturally different: Theory and practice (3rd ed.). New York: J. Wiley & Sons.


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