Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Continuum of Acceptance

Had a diversity training at the ole job recently and it introduced me to The Cultural Proficiency Group's "Cultural Proficiency Continuum" or as I like to think of it: a continuum of acceptance. Since I've been blogging and thinking a lot about racism and other forms of discrimination lately, I was very interested to find something that could break up the different kinds of reactions people have into something that disrupts the normal dichotomy of acceptance/rejection. I like the idea of there being a variety of of ways to accept others and it makes me feel like those fuzzy gray places that lacked definition before now have a rather simple explanation.

This is the "Cultural Proficiency Continuum":

  1. Cultural destructiveness: See the difference, stomp it out. The elimination of other people's cultures
  2. Cultural incapacity: See the difference, make it wrong. Belief in the superiority of one's own culture and behavior that dis-empowers another's culture.
  3. Cultural blindness: See the difference, act like you don't. Acting as if the cultural differences you see do not matter, or not recognizing that there are differences among and between cultures.
  4. Cultural pre-competence: See the difference, respond inadequately. Awareness of the limitations of one's skills or an organization's practices when interacting with other cultural groups.
  5. Cultural competence: See the difference, understand the difference that difference makes. Interacting with other cultural groups using the five essential elements of cultural proficiency:
    • Name the differences: Assess culture
    • Claim the differences: Value diversity
    • Reframe the differences: Manage the dynamics of difference
    • Train about differences: Adapt to diversity
    • Change for differences: Institutionalize cultural knowledge
  6. Cultural proficiency: See the differences and respond positively and affirmingly. Esteeming culture, knowing how to learn about individual and organizational culture, and interacting effectively in a variety of cultural environments.
Do you think this is a helpful way to describe the way someone might or does respond to a person different enough from them to prompt a reaction?

Related posts:
Perception and Reaction to Racism Not Equal
Cultures Threatened as Climate Changes
Tony's Take on Racism in the Kansas City Area

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2 comments:

Applecart T. said...

Yes, helpful if true-enough, but only with examples.

Mark said...

May,
This is excellent, thanks for sharing!