Accommodating culture and cultural diversity in online teaching radiocarbon dating stone tools
If the worker is from the same cultural group as the client, they may well be put under significant cultural pressure to adhere to the community values, while under workplace pressure to maintain policies and procedures.
Sticking to the organisation’s policy – which is an expression of a dominant cultural view, albeit embedded all the way into an insurance policy – may well damage the very engagement that the bicultural worker was employed to develop in the first place.
Examples at the individual level include recognising that cultural diversity provides benefits and strengths to society, and that working in cross-cultural contexts is an enriching life experience.
Examples at an organisational level include actively seeking to develop a culturally diverse board, workforce and volunteer base; engaging with diverse cultures within the community; and being prepared to fundamentally diversify workplace culture.
For instance, an organisation’s policies might prohibit anyone other than a service user being transported by a worker in the agency’s vehicle.
The goal is that system is able to step beyond the bounds of a particular cultural interpretation in order to work effectively in any context of diversity.We often think of culture through the diversity indicators of country of birth and language spoken at home, but it’s actually much more complex than that.Culture involves our values, attitudes and beliefs. What one sees as ‘respect’ or ‘disrespect’ is dependent on one’s cultural view.Look to the cultural diversity clearing houses and ethno-specific organisations for examples of strategies for how to negotiate tricky terrain such as where a cultural view does not sit comfortably with, say, a reablement strategy, or with non-negotiable expressions of mainstream culture, such as program guidelines, regulations or laws.
An organisational example would be conducting a cultural competency audit or self assessment.
Working in community care means being prepared to learn and work within cultural interpretations that may not be your own.