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Promoting "critical awareness" and critiquing "cultural competence" : towards disrupting received professional knowledges

Furlong, Mark and Wright, James 2011, Promoting "critical awareness" and critiquing "cultural competence" : towards disrupting received professional knowledges, Australian social work, vol. 64, no. 1, Special issue : On Australian indigenous social work and social policy part 1, pp. 38-54, doi: 10.1080/0312407X.2010.537352.

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Title Promoting "critical awareness" and critiquing "cultural competence" : towards disrupting received professional knowledges
Author(s) Furlong, Mark
Wright, James
Journal name Australian social work
Volume number 64
Issue number 1
Season Special issue : On Australian indigenous social work and social policy part 1
Start page 38
End page 54
Total pages 17
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2011-03
ISSN 0312-407X
1447-0748
Keyword(s) critical social work
crosscultural social work
culturally sensitive social work
Summary There is a compelling argument that universities should be committed to advancing the Indigenous agenda. With respect to social work, as well as to nursing, psychology, and allied health, this commitment is often translated into a single goal: that graduates should be ‘‘culturally competent’’. While acknowledging that there can be tactical advantages in pursuing this goal the current paper develops a practical critique of the expectation that cultural competence is an unproblematic ‘‘add on’’ to professional education. Using a single case study as an example*how the subject ‘‘individual development’’ is transmitted as a monocultural and unproblematic formation*we argue that it is impossible to learn to work cross-culturally without developing a capacity for reflective self-scrutiny. Less likely to be a flag of convenience than ‘‘cultural competence’’, an allegiance to ‘‘critical awareness’’ prompts the interrogation of received knowledge, for example how human development and personhood is understood, as well stimulating an engagement in the lifelong process of reflecting on one’s own ideological and cultural location.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/0312407X.2010.537352
Field of Research 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30042514

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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