Culture & Cultural Competence
What is cultural competence?
The ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures
Provides patients with cultural, social & linguistic needs by tailoring care
Kleinman: Cultural Competence
1. Failure to properly define culture
- Culture is often made synonymous with ethnicity (ex. Care for Hispanic
- Core beliefs common to an ethnic group are often emphasized
2. Culture: Cookie Cutting
- A series of lists of do’s & don’ts: stereotyping becomes common practice
- Culture as ethnicity is perceived as a “characteristic that threatens to impede
communication” (Jorelman 2010)
3. Not All Issues Are Cultural
- However, there has been a tendency to blame culture for misunderstandings
- Ex. Parent who doesn’t take HIV child to clinic – assumption the ethnic
parent doesn’t get it.
- What other issues might impact treatment?
What is Culture?
Culture is a complex whole (Tyler 1881)
- Includes knowledge, morals, art, beliefs, laws, customs or any other
capabilities acquired by humans as a member of society.
“ The totality of socially transmitted behavioural patterns that guide decision
making & worldview”
- Culture is like a recipe or what engineers call a blueprint for human
behaviour (Geertz, 1982)
- Tool kit (tools for action & understanding) that helps us organize
information, predict & explain the world around us
1) Dynamic (changes)
6) Cannot be separated from other variables
Culture … Our beliefs & behaviours are influenced and are intertwined with a
variety of factors Ex. Religion, Factory work & Medicine
Some factors produce differences between groups of people:
1) Dominant Culture – CND 2) Subculture
3) Counter Culture – Omish
Within any given society there are multiple “cultures” that interact..
We must be aware of our own culture
3) Values & Norms
4) Folkways & Mores
5) Space & Touching
Culture: Universals, variation & stereotyping
Society is NOT culture