The politics of resistance to workplace cultural diversity education for health service providers : an Australian study

Johnstone, Megan-Jane and Kanitsaki, Olga 2008, The politics of resistance to workplace cultural diversity education for health service providers : an Australian study, Race, ethnicity and education, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 133-154, doi: 10.1080/13613320802110258.

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Title The politics of resistance to workplace cultural diversity education for health service providers : an Australian study
Author(s) Johnstone, Megan-Jane
Kanitsaki, Olga
Journal name Race, ethnicity and education
Volume number 11
Issue number 2
Start page 133
End page 154
Total pages 22
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2008-07
ISSN 1361-3324
Keyword(s) cultural diversity
continuing education
health professions
ethnic disparities
Summary This qualitative study has as its focus an exploration of health service providers' perceptions and experiences of the processes and implications of delivering workplace cultural diversity education for staff. Data were obtained from conducting in-depth individual and focus group interviews with a purposeful sample of 137 healthcare professionals, recruited from over 17 different organizational sites. Participants included cultural diversity educators, ethnic liaison officers, health service managers, nurses, health interpreters, allied health professionals, and community-based ethnic welfare organization personnel working in or with select metropolitan health services in Victoria, Australia. Analysis of the data revealed that workplace cultural diversity education in healthcare is a significant site of resistance and struggle. 'Resistance' was expressed in several forms including: the problematization of resources and staff availability to attend cultural diversity education forums; indifferent failure to recognize cultural imperatives in healthcare; deliberate refusal to recognize cultural imperatives in healthcare; selective recognition of cultural imperatives in healthcare ('facts sheets' only); and the angry rejection of cultural imperatives in healthcare. 'Struggle', in turn, largely involved cultural diversity educators having to constantly 'cajole and convince' (and even manipulate) staff to attend cultural diversity education forums and using a 'velvet glove and iron fist' approach to teaching staff who remained resolute in their resistance when participating in educational forums. An important implication of this study is that the politics of workplace cultural diversity education - and the 'politics of resistance' to such programs - need to be better recognized and understood if the status quo is to be successfully challenged and changed. The need for critical debate and further comparative research on the subject are also highlighted.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13613320802110258
Field of Research 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Nursing and Midwifery
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