• What is it?
• Why do we need it?
• Where do we get it?
According to Cross, Bazron, Dennis, and Isaacs (1989), cultural competence can be defined “as a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations”. Denboba, MCHB (1993) believes that cultural competence is a “set of values, behaviors, attitudes, and practices within a system, organization, program or among individuals and which enables them to work effectively cross culturally”.
Are you guilty of ethnocentrism?
• Do you judge other cultures because they are different from yours?
Example: When you are in a grocery or other store and the person in line ahead of you is carrying on a conversation in a foreign language, do you think, why can’t they speak English? This is America and they should be using our language.
Our society has a tendency to judge others by our own standards. The cultural biases that we hold as true may keep us from learning from other cultures.
Cultural relativists believe that all cultures are worthy in their own right and are of equal value and are not to be considered in terms of right and wrong or good and bad. So do we as individuals and as part of a society determine our own good, bad, right, and wrong?
Communication is an important part of every culture. We communicate with others verbally and non-verbally many times per day. When you pass someone on the street and they smile, this non-verbal communication leads us to believe that person is happy, or being friendly. When someone smiles at you, do you smile back at the...
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...idely conformed to and are learned by observation, imitation, and general socialization. Informal norms dictate appropriate behavior without the need of written rules”.
Globalization can be successful when people, companies, and governments are able to interact and integrate different cultures and recognize that all are created equal regardless of those differences.
Do we need cultural competence?
Sure we do. Our forefathers founded this country on cultural diversity. The Pilgrims and Native Americans came together on that first Thanksgiving despite their cultural differences. We can do the same by welcoming different cultures into our lives. Become a mentor. Reach out to someone of a different culture. You will both learn something that is sure to enrich your lives. You may even become friends with them and their extended family.
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