Cultural Competency Essay

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Introduction: “The new mestiza copes by developing a tolerance for contradictions, a tolerance for ambiguity. She learns to be an Indian in Mexican culture, to be Mexican from an Anglo point of view. She learns to juggle cultures. She has a plural personality, she operates in a pluralistic mode—nothing is thrust out, the good, the bad, and the ugly, nothing rejected, nothing abandoned. Not only does she sustain contradictions, she returns the ambivalence into something else” Issue of Cultural Competency: In the field of human services, “cultural competency” has become a common buzz meant to address in part the . The intention being, that workers are able to achieve some level of knowledge and training that prepares them to work with different groups of people with and understanding of and sensitivity to the varied cultural norms, values and experience. Implicit in the idea is that the “cultures” that one needs to understand are generally those outside the white, middle class, heterosexual, cis-gendered, American mainstream. While it is essential that providers critically engage with their assumptions and limitations related to working effectively with varied populations, the common approach to cultural competency is often inadequate, and sometimes explicitly damaging. One could expect the field of social work to be amongst the most adept at tackling issues of cultural diversity and working to respond in ways that do not uphold oppressive systems. However, these issues are far too often given lip service, or relegated to “macro practice” and fails to be integrated into direct, clinical practice. When issues of working with marginalized populations are addressed, there is the tendency to focus on one aspect of the identity, (wh... ... middle of paper ... ... Often times sexuality is not visible, either real or perceived so how one experiences a marginalized sexuality is often deeply internalized Perhaps the most fruitful place for us to explore is that the Intersectionality since its foundation has been most often explored as it realties to interlocking oppressions but it is also useful in investigating privilege as well as where both align. For social workers there will always be the privilege in their position. But race, gender, class, physical ability are just amongst the “En unas pocas centurias, the future will belong to the mestiza. Because the future depends on the breaking down of paradigms, it depends on the straddling of two or more cultures. By creating a new mythos—that is, a change in the way we perceive reality, the way we see ourselves, and the ways we behave—la mestiza creates a new consciousness”
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