ERIC Number: ED255796
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
The Challenge for Mental Health: Minorities and Their World Views.
English, Richard A.
Research findings have confirmed the view that if mental health practice is to be relevant and responsive to minorities, it must consciously and deliberately take into account their ethnic heritage and culture. The world views of ethnic minorities, or the ways in which they perceive their relationship to nature, institutions, other people, and objects, can be divided into four major categories. The bicultural/multicultural world view draws upon multiple sources of culture and socialization experiences, from both traditional cultures and the mainstream cultural system. The acculturated/assimilated world view involves the acquisition of beliefs, attitudes and behaviors of a social group of which one is not a natural member. The native-oriented/traditional world view is based on patterns of behaviors, values, and beliefs of a group that shares a common historical past. The transitional/marginal world view refers to types of individuals who are suspended between their own ethnic identity and the mainstream culture. The process of identifying specific world views can be achieved by the cross-classification of two dimensions: the level of intensity and value an individual places on his/her own culture and identity; and the level of intensity and value placed upon involvement and participation in the mainstream culture. In the context of mental health, this typology can serve at least three main functions. It can be used for assessing the basic orientation of ethnic minorities to their own group and to the larger society; for providing a framework for considering related concerns such as values, language, beliefs, and behaviors; and for avoiding the errors of assuming that racial and ethnic minorities are unicultural, or that ethnic differences are "minor" variations on the mainstream culture. An 11-page bibliography concludes the document. (NRB)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Biculturalism, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Ethnic Groups, Ethnicity, Identification (Psychology), Mental Health, Minority Groups, Sociocultural Patterns, Subcultures, World Views
Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Publications Division, Box 7998, Austin, TX 78713 (1-99 copies, $0.60 ea., over 99, $0.50 ea.).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Texas Univ., Austin. Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Second annual Robert L. Sutherland lecture, The University of Texas at Austin, November 3, 1983.