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ERIC Number: EJ848577
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0037-8046
Fundamental Contradictions in Cultural Competence
Johnson, Yvonne M.; Munch, Shari
Social Work, v54 n3 p220-231 Jul 2009
Cultural competence (CC) is considered highly relevant to social work practice with clients belonging to ethnic and racial minority groups, as the burgeoning literature and creation of practice standards on CC attest. However, examination of the conceptual underpinnings of CC reveals several major anomalies. The authors argue that several aspects of CC contradict central social work concepts or are at odds with current, standard social work practice. These contradictions extend to the epistemological foundations of CC and the rights and dignity of the individual. To further stress the conceptual tensions at the heart of CC, the authors incorporate recent philosophical work addressing collective identities and group rights. The question of whether culturally competent practice is achievable is also addressed. The authors urge academicians and practitioners to thoroughly examine the theoretical and ethical bases of CC because of their highly important ramifications for social work practice.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A