Family Culture Essay

2200 words - 9 pages

Australia is evolving at a rapid pace as a multicultural society of great diversity. To meet the unique needs of each individual cultural group, Human Service workers must be aware and understand the importance of culture when designing and developing cross-cultural programs. Failure to recognise " ... the fact that human identity is expressed in a specific cultural and community context and human potential is realised in much the same way" ( Fitzgerald, 1988, p. 58 ) can only be disadvantageous to any cross- cultural human service worker. The necessary preparation and underlining principles for cross-cultural work will be discussed. The role of self-awareness will then be explained. Finally, the range of skills needed by the Human Service worker to be competent in this area will be outlined.A human service worker can prepare for cross-cultural work in various ways. It is, however, essential that a clear understanding of culture be first reached. Social anthropology attempts to classify and analyse some of the aspects of humans and their society. According to The new illustrated Columbia encyclopaedia ( 1979, p. 343 ) " Its unique contribution to studying the bonds of human relations has been the distinctive concept of culture ". Some cultural groups could misconstrue this concept as the 'white mans theory' and believe that it does not portray the true origin, identity or values held by that particular culture.A definition of culture provided by D'Ardenne & Mahtani, ( 1999, p. 3 ) defines 'Culture' as " ... the shared history, practises, beliefs and values of a racial, regional or religious group of people". It is important to understand that culture, according to The new illustrated Columbia encyclopaedia ( 1979, p. 1766 ) " ... is transmitted from generation to generation by learning processes rather than by biological inheritance". Many descendants of interracial relationships still hold the same cultural values as their predecessors. The approach to working cross-culturally is to acknowledge that assumptions cannot be made to seem to know an individual's ancestry, ideology and value system of their culture. This knowledge can only truly be achieved through open communication and understanding of the person.According to Lynch ( 1992, ) the steps to take to learn about a culture are to participate in the daily lives of the cultural group, read about the culture, learn the language and talk to individuals who act as mediators or guides ( Lynch cited in HSA 2101 Lecture Notes.2003 ). This is very theoretical and not totally practical. To achieve this task would require immense time and dedication, even if desired, it would virtually be impossible to gain knowledge of all the diversified cultural groups within Australia. The key factors are to be aware and make no assumptions about the concerns, needs and resources of the individual. Therefore the human service worker will need to equip themselves with some background knowledge of the...

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