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Flashcards in chapter 4: effecting social change in diverse context Deck (16):

What is the overarching value in community psychology?

context and healthy, strong, and just communities


What forms the context in which people exist?

In their various positions (e.g., researchers, evaluators,
advocates, service providers, community leaders, educators,
policymakers), they come across people from different
cultures, histories, and experiences, and who work, live,
learn, and age in all sorts of communities.


cross culturally competent

is the ability to interact, function, and work effectively among people who may not share your demographic attributes, language, beliefs, history, and experiences.
• It is impossible to become perfectly competent in your
knowledge about another group of people, but it is possible to become sufficiently competent to cultivate mutual respect and promote behaviors and actions that ensure social justice and equity for the people with whom you are interacting and engaging.


what are the three key components to cross-cultural
competency development?

1. Understanding the definition of “culture”
• 2. Navigating the effects of social identities
• 3. Addressing privilege and power


cross cultural competency

Culture, social identity, and privilege and power are critical concepts
because they have a powerful influence on people’s interactions with
one another. Your perceptions and theirs are then translated, in less than a second,
into words and behaviors that sometimes make sense, and at other
times, appear to be completely irrational to you and/or the people with
whom you are interacting.


Explain culture

a set of socially transmitted and learned behaviors, beliefs,
institutions, and all other products and thoughts of a group of people
that shape and guide the functioning of a particular individual, family,
profession, organization, or community”
Constantly evolving
example:religion; language, clothing; celebrations of key events (e.g., birth,
passage to adulthood), and food


Why is this problematic that culture is attached to demographic labels that can distinguish groups?

Because individual traits and the diversity within each of these groups are often ignored or misunderstood
• Can lead to stereotyping and misunderstandings among people of the same culture as well as between individuals in and outside the culture
• Can diminish the similarities that groups share, which are important for finding common ground to build community (e.g., similarities in values about family ties and children’s well-being)


Explain in detail social identity (how is it formed, what is it shaped by, do we only have one
social identity, how is it related to stereotyping, how is this important for a
community psychologist)

• Social identity is formed when a group of people attempt to see their group differentiated from other groups as a way to preserve and achieve group distinctiveness
• This identity is shaped by culture, history, and context.
• People tend to have several social identities because they are likely to belong to two or more groups.
• A person’s social identity can be based on a range of characteristics, from demographic attributes to beliefs and profession.
it involves the person’s self identification with a particular social group relative to others’ perceptions of the person’s group membership.
• Stereotyping and unspoken and unrealistic expectations can arise from situations where people assume a person’s social identity and conclude that he or she is “one of them” or “not one of them.”
• Community psychologists need to understand and be able to navigate the way social identities affect their interactions with individuals with whom they work in order to cultivate genuine relations


compare privilege and power

Privilege as “the advantage granted to or enjoyed by a group of people beyond the advantage of all others”
• Power as “the ability or capacity to exercise authority, control, and influence”


How to practice Practice humility?

Being mindful of the assumptions made about the cultures of another group of people
• Refraining from suggesting that the culture of one group of people determines the norm, and therefore the behaviours of another group of people are “deviant”


How to be a good community psychologist in cultures?

Asking questions about the culture of another group of people in a respectful manner
• Listening and observing nonverbal communication and rules of conduct


Consider structural inequities and how they affect your
work and its outcomes.

Community psychologists need to be aware of the inequities experienced by the groups or communities that they work with, how these inequities were created, and make sure that they don’t encourage the spread of these inequalities


Structural inequity

A system in which public policies, institutional
practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate inequity among social groups.


Example: design of strategies to address the high obesity rates in a particular community

Don’t just look at interventions targeting individuals’ attitudes and behaviours (e.g., exercise programs, nutrition classes)
• Also, study the problem from different angles, including the community infrastructure and policies that affect the high obesity rates
• the local farmers market does not accept food stamps
• public schools are required to purchase food cheapest vendors
• a developer just bought land for an office building and tore down the only grocery shop that sold fresh vegetables and fruits


Accepting status differences

Community psychologists do not necessarily have to behave like people in the group in order to to be cross-culturally competent.
• It is better to accept than ignore the status differences (e.g., differences in education level, authority, access to resources), acknowledge them, and engage the group members in a discussion to ensure that the differences do not cause harm.


How can you develop your cross-cultural competency?

1. Engage in exercises that deepen your awareness about how your
assumptions affect your work.
• Everyone has biases, unconscious or conscious, about different
people within or outside their social groups. It is helpful for
you to work toward understanding your biases and how they
affect your perceptions, behavior, interactions, and use of
2. Attend trainings about human
interactions and group processes (trainings that include role plays, exercises, and experiential learning opportunities)
3. Learn about theories and research regarding organizational behaviour and organizational development.
4. Attend trainings about the structures and impacts of privilege and power.
• There has not been much training designed to help people understand the structures and impacts of privilege and power. Provides training on undoing institutional racism through dialogue, reflection, role playing, and knowledge exchange, teaching participants how to analyze the structures of privilege and power that undermine efforts to promote equity, especially racial equity