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ERIC Number: EJ871524
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1043-7797
Critical Race Theory and the Cultural Competence Dilemma in Social Work Education
Abrams, Laura S.; Moio, Jene A.
Journal of Social Work Education, v45 n2 p245-261 Spr-Sum 2009
Cultural competence is a fundamental tenet of social work education. Although cultural competence with diverse populations historically referred to individuals and groups from non-White racial origins, the term has evolved to encompass differences pertaining to sexuality, religion, ability, and others. Critics charge that the cultural competence model is largely ineffective and that its tendency to equalize oppressions under a "multicultural umbrella" unintentionally promotes a color-blind mentality that eclipses the significance of institutionalized racism. In this article we argue that critical race theory (CRT) can be used to address some of these noted problems with the cultural competence model. We define the major tenets of CRT and analyze its benefits and limitations for social work pedagogy around race, racism, and other oppressions.
Council on Social Work Education. 1725 Duke Street Suite 500, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-683-8080; Fax: 703-683-8099; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A