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

Version 2 2024-06-13, 08:21
Version 1 2014-10-28, 09:33
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-13, 08:21 authored by M Furlong, J Wright
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.

History

Journal

Australian social work

Volume

64

Season

Special issue : On Australian indigenous social work and social policy part 1

Pagination

38-54

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

ISSN

0312-407X

eISSN

1447-0748

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, Taylor & Francis

Issue

1

Publisher

Routledge