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Multicultural Compentency Paper

By mjackson12345 May 04, 2013 757 Words
Multicultural Competency Paper
Michelle L. Jackson
University of Phoenix
PSYCH
535
Dr. MARY ANN CEJKA
April 28, 2013

Multicultural Competency Paper
Individuals are influenced and developed by a multitude of factors such as gender, race, culture, ethnicity, and social economic engagement. These factors may affect a person’s judgment and create a person to develop unfavorable or inaccurate biases about others. “The terms multiculturalism and diversity have been used interchangeably to include aspects of identity stemming from gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, or age” (Guidelines, 2003, p. 380). Understanding multicultural is crucial, and can be a controversial topic in psychology. Psychologist must be trained to deal with the different diversity, and become multicultural competent profession. Guidelines and standards have been developed to assure psychologists are dealing with individuals appropriately regardless of their race, culture, gender or ethnicity. What biases, perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs might you hold about culturally different groups? There are many different things that a person may hold about culturally different groups. Bias, perception, attitude, and beliefs of a person can cause many problems in your personal life and workplace. The demographics in the world looks much different than it did 10 or 15 years ago. Society is continuously changing; no particular place on earth is immune from becoming a more diverse community or workplace. As these changes rapidly approach, it is great importance that individuals have a better understanding of multiculturalism. It is important to understand how to deal with conflict within a diverse workplace, collaborating, and acceptance of different approach to achieve a successful outcome. Our attitudes, beliefs and perceptions can be influenced by our environment whether one act negatively or positive when interacting with someone who looks differently. Growing up in a middle class community, I perceived that the children who were “bused” in to attend the high school in our neighborhood were poor. I later realized that busing children to our school was to expose children to other cultures, and had little to with economic status. This particular incident for many students shaped less favorable attitudes towards others that didn’t look like me or others. To overcome negative perception or biases is educating yourself about the various cultures and their beliefs. This action has carried over into adulthood, and working in various organizations where I may find myself the only minority. I allow individuals the opportunity to learn about me and my culture. How knowledgeable are you about the values, practices, and experiences of individuals who are culturally different from yourself? As an educator who works closely with a very diverse student body, it’s extremely important I have an understanding of various individuals’ background. To achieve this, I remain open-minded and seek to find answers that are unknown to me. I believe the first place to start, is becoming more aware of my own culture. Understanding how my own culture has impacted my life makes it easier to listen to someone talk about their own. What are your strengths and weaknesses in interacting with culturally different individuals and how might you address shortcomings? My biggest strength is building relationships with people of different cultures. Having a one-on-one connection is the foundation of change professionally and personally. I don’t limit myself in the workplace to interacting exclusively with a particular group, and my selection of friends isn’t limited to individuals who look like me. Areas that I may fall short on are addressed through self-evaluation, making a conscious effort to continue building relationships with different cultures. If I have or developed biases against another group, take time to examine the reason why and ask questions. Understand that I’m not perfect nor is a particular person or group of people. Read and educate myself on various cultures. Education allows you to understand the history and belief system of many cultures. Knowledge can provide a basis for conversation where relationships are formed. In the publication Guidelines for Multicultural Proficiency for Psychologists, it is for the purpose for psychologist to “reflect knowledge and skills needed for the profession in the midst of dramatic historic sociopolitical changes in U.S. society, as well as needs of new constituencies, markets, and clients” (American Psychological Associates, Inc. (2003). These guidelines are used to keep the profession of psychology limited from discrimination for the good of all individuals. Multicultural competency is needed as our neighborhoods and workplace continue to become more diverse.

References
American Psychological Association (2003, May). Guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists. American Psychologist, 58(5), 377

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