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Cultural Awareness

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Jennifer Curreri

on 26 August 2014

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Transcript of Cultural Awareness

Cultural Awareness
Develop an awareness of the impact of culture on human interactions and communications.
Understand the importance of cultural competence in relationship building.
Perform self-assessment of individual cultural competence.
Develop an awareness of barriers and identify bridges.
Develop practical applications of the tools of cultural competency.
What is Diversity?
A representation of multiple groups within a prescribed environment, such as a classroom. Often used to describe the differences in cultural groups.
What are some defining characteristics of diversity?

Diversity encompasses
several issues within
each community
sexual orientation
sexual identity
Socio-Economic Status
Resident Status
Physical Appearance
Changing Demographics in U.S.
The U.S. has moved beyond “Black” and “White” to become a complex mosaic of races and ethnicities. Currently, one out of every three residents is a minority.
Current (reported) U.S. population: Whites, 199 million; Hispanics, 44 million; Blacks, 35 million; Asians, 27 million; Native American, 5 million; Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, 1 million.
Hispanics comprise 15 % of the population and are the largest and fastest growing minority group.
In 1960, Hispanics comprised 6% of the population; by 2050, approximately 29% of the U.S. population will be Hispanic.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Pew Research Center
Changing Demographics
in Palm Beach County
Palm Beach County is currently home to 1.3 million people: 74% white; 17% Hispanic; 16% Black; 2% Asian; less than 0.5% Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander; & 7% “some other race”
Twenty-two percent of Palm Beach County residents are foreign born, compared to 13% nationwide.
Slightly more than one in four (26%) residents speaks a language other than English at home.
Minorities constitute the majority in Palm Beach County schools (44% white, 30% Black, 23% Hispanic, 3% other). Students speak 156 different languages and dialects.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau; Pew Research Center
What is Culture?
The sum of attitudes, customs and beliefs that distinguish one group from another. Culture is transmitted through language, material objects, rituals, institutions, music and art from one generation to the next.

“Actually, the most important part of culture . . . is that which is hidden and internal but which governs the behavior encounter. This dimension of culture can be seen as an iceberg with the tip sticking above the water level of conscious awareness. By far, the most significant part, however, is unconscious or below the water level of awareness and includes values and thought patterns.” (Hall, 1976)
Hidden Culture
Culture frames our view of the world:
Surface Culture:
Deep Culture:
Ceremony-Rites of Passage
health & medicine
Family Ties
Body Language
Gender Roles
Understanding Culture
Individual Culture is multi-faceted and encompasses:
Personality, unique style
Internal factors—gender, race, age, sexual orientation
External influences—society, experiences
Where individuals grew up or live now
Religious affiliation
University influences—seniority, major, affiliations, commuter vs. resident student
Impact of Personal Culture on Communications
Incorrect assumptions about the other
Language and communication style issues
Biases against the unfamiliar
Personal values in conflict
Expectations that others will conform to established norms.
Adapted from Selma Myers, Conflict and Culture
Challenges Because of our Differences
Many people see diversity as a lightning rod for conflict.
Challenges arise because of differences in perceptions, norms, expectations and behaviors.
The goal is to enhance the communication and collaboration skills of all collaboratives with a diversity of perspectives and world views.
Cultural Competency
“To be culturally competent doesn’t mean you are an authority in the values and beliefs of every culture. What it means is that you hold a deep respect for cultural differences and are eager to learn, and willing to accept, that there are many ways of viewing the world.”
Okokon O. Udo
Why is there a Compelling Need for Cultural Competence?
To respond to current and projected demographic changes in the United States
To eliminate long-standing disparities in the status of people of diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds
Three Identifiable Tools to Measure the Level of Cultural Competency
What is stereotyping?
Where do you learn stereotyping?
How does it affect your relationships?

View video: “Silent Beats” by Jon Chu, USC
The Five Elements of Cultural Competency
Awareness of one’s own culture (. . . and other’s)
Understanding the dynamics of difference
Awareness and acceptance of difference
Development of cultural knowledge
Celebration of diversity
Identify your own cultural and family values
Become aware of your personal biases and assumptions about people with different values than yours
Challenge yourself in identifying your own values as the “norm”
Learn more about cultural and family values that you do not understand
Find out reasons for these values
Become aware of how these “other” groups are affected by being seen as “different”
To offer culturally appropriate social services (care) requires being open to the expectations, perceptions, and realities of the various communities
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