Cultural assumptions working with socially excluded groups: possibilities and limits for reflection

Rasa Erentaitė

Abstract


This article discusses the significance of cultural assumptions in work with groups experiencing social exclusion. Psychologists, counselors and social workers, as cultural beings, hold certain cultural assumptions, attitudes and norms, which sometimes can impede their work with clients from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, especially from socially excluded groups. This problem, particularly if considered from the inclusive multicultural perspective, is relevant for a society like Lithuania - with high levels of perceived internal homogeneity. The article looks into particular examples, how unreflected cultural assumptions are reproduced in social and psychological services and policies. Theoretical models and research explaining the impact of cultural assumptions on assistance practices are reviewed. Models applied for developing multicultural competencies of professional social and psychological service providers are discussed.

Keywords


cultural assumptions; multicultural competencies; social exclusion

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789