As the land of immigrants, the United States is arguably in the most need of a culturally competent society. Yet, internationally Americans are increasingly regarded as US-centric (Berzonsky et al., 2003; Fullerton, 2005; Pew Research Center, 2005). Given such issues as teen pregnancy, illiteracy, homelessness, sexism, and racism, it may seem peculiar to put cultural incompetence into the dialogue on national social problems. However, the lack of cultural competence is often a contributing factor to these other social issues (e.g. American Medical Student Association, 2007; Carillo et al., 1999; Dressler & Bindon, 2002; Ihara, 2004). For example, in teen pregnancy, Latino girls may be affected by religion (Wilkinson-Lee et al., 2006), and in healthcare, service delivery to recent immigrants can be impeded by language barriers (Ihara, 2004). Human behavior theorists have also noted the global importance of cultural competence.
[...] Cultural competency and quality of care: obtaining the patient's perspective. The Commonwealth Fund Peterson, N.A., Lowe, J.B., Aquilino, M.L., and Schneider, J.E. (2005). Linking social cohesion and gender to intrapersonal and interactional empowerment: Support and new implications for theory. Journal of Community Psychology, 233–244. Pew Research Center (2005, June 23). Pew global attitudes project ii: Image of the American people: U.S. image up slightly, but still negative. Retrieved October from http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?PageID=802. Raheim, S. (2001). Cultural competence: A requirement for empowerment practice. [...]
[...] Such an inquiry started from the position of the majority or dominant cultural groups, and the major purpose of those articles was to find methods to help those educators, administrators, nurses, or physicians who belonged to dominant cultures to take steps toward minority groups” (Chang p. 188). This approach surely creates multiple gaps in research. Foremost, the minority groups should also be represented in the inquiries of cultural competence. Moreover, this approach does not consider the cultural competence of minority group members. [...]
[...] Empirical data has focused on cultural competence practice of predominantly White practitioners; however, research on establishing cultural competence amongst non-White clients would provide more relevant data for this client system. In reviewing the client's academic interests and aversions, she notes her appreciation for theatre is because she is always doing something in the class and is able to make people think through her performances. In regards to English, she informs me that her dislike for this course is because she is not being challenged and is not learning anything, but rather, is daily being given busy work such as vocabulary sheets. [...]
[...] The Practical Lens Throughout this discourse on theory and empirical data, the reoccurring obstacle has been how to apply Empowerment Theory within the population of adolescent ethnic-minority females for the purpose of developing cultural competence. This last section will specifically examine this issue. As one views this process through a critical practice lens, it can be expected that many important answers and new questions will arise, thereby advancing the understanding of this issue, and better preparing practitioners for well-grounded intervention. [...]
[...] Present and future teachers of the world's children: How internationally-minded are they? Journal of Research in International Education, 279-311. Fawcett, S. B., White, G. W., Balcazar, F. E., Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Mathews, R. M., Paine-Andrews, A., Seekins, T., and Smith, J. F. (1994). A contextual-behavioral model of empowerment: Case studies involving people with physical disabilities. American Journal of Community Psychology 471-496. Foster-Fishman, P.G., Salem, D.A., Chibnall, S., Legler, R., and Yapchai, C. (1998). Empirical support for the critical assumptions of empowerment theory. [...]
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